Aug 20, 2015
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The story centers around Theo Decker, a teenage New Yorker living with his mother after his father left them both behind a yar or so earlier. Though Theo has a lot of mixed feelings about his Dad's abandonment, he and his mom are adjusting to the changes fairly well. They are very close and she is the center of his world. Tragedy strikes and Theo is thrown into yet another different world but this time he feels totally alone and not sure what his future will hold. I won't even try to write my own synopsis for this literary treat because I wouldn't do it justice but you can read one from Goodreads here.
I'll start off saying that not everyone will agree with my opinion of this book. Clearly there have been many mixed reviews. I believe this is one of those books that you either love ot hare for whatever reason. And I hope that if you haven't read it, you will give it a try and see where you land.
Theo's story is a complex, adventure that is heartrendingly sad and chaotic and very well developed. Now that I've finished the book, I realize that the 'wordiness' of the book that I previously found annoying, was necessary in order to give the reader a full and complete picture of Theo and his life. It made me so very connected to the story - like I was right there as he was living his life. Although there were some parts that were hard to take and I felt they sort of dragged on, it certainly didn't diminish my experience. I know it took Ms. Tartt awhile to write this book and after reading it you can see why. There are so many details that simply couldn't have been left out, in my opinion. No doubt it is a deeply interwoven story that sucked me in further with every single page.
Now to the characters...Ah, the characters! I found them fascinating and they will remain in my mind for quite some time. Some more than others obviously. They were remarkable - some in a good way and others not so much but they were all memorable.
Boris, Theo's long time friend is one of my two favorite characters, though some who've already read the book may think that is a odd choice considering what kind of person he turned out to be. Personally, I felt dawn to him and even though some of his actions were extremely questionable, I found him endearing and loyal to those he cared for. Boris will stay with me for a long time. My other favorite was Hobie, who obciously loved Theo as a son. I'm purposely not going into any detail about why I loved these two characters so much because I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it. There is a host of other wonderful characters that are so original and they all have a part in making this a wonderful story.
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is disturbing at times but it is an amazing story that I found totally engrossing. I don't think I've felt this moved or connected to a novel since maybe The Kite Runner. It enveloped me, entertained me, shocked me and awed me. Maybe that sounds a bit much to some but that is how I feel about it. I'm so grateful I finally got off my butt and read it. It was a fantastic reading experience, easily making it my favorite read so far this year. In a nutshell, this book is the reason I read: To be moved and I certainly was moved.
THE GOLDFINCH (Kindle Edition)
Author: Donna Tartt
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Published: October 2013
Length: 760 pp