The Goldfinch – #68/365

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt is like the Fabritius painting in the title – an absolute materpiece.

goldfinchIt has to rank as one of the best books I have ever read – if not the best.

Its breathtakingly sumptuous detail is overwhelming whilst its exploration of tragedy and loss is epically profound. Just when you think Theo’s life couldn’t get any worse, or that finally a ray of sunshine has broken through the gunmetal-grey New York clouds, Tartt promptly kicks the reader in the stomach. You wouldn’t think she’d be like that, to look at her.

I urge you to read it. It is a work of genius.


Here’s the blurb from the cover:

“Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, miraculously survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is bewildered by his new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years he clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the criminal underworld.

As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.”


Filed under Art, Books, Children, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Literature, Writing

8 responses to “The Goldfinch – #68/365

  1. Just ordered this (based on your blog) x Thank you x

  2. You won’t regret it! I’ve never read anything quite like it. I shall have to read more of her work. Love your shadow poems/drawing, btw. Dx

  3. I just love Donna Tartt’s writing, but haven’t read this novel yet as am waiting for it to come out in paperback. She professes to being a very slow writer, which is probably why she only produces a novel about once a decade, but each one is definitely worth the wait.

    • I can see why it takes her so long to write them. It’s the first one of her’s that I’ve read. Just bought The Little Friend today.

      • Let me know what you think of it. I just love the main character — twelve-year-old Harriet. My favourite scene involves snakes. Wait until you read it — although it’s largely a serious novel I laughed out loud because it was a moment of ingenuity on Harriet’s part, as well as one of supreme justice re a particular character.

      • Ooh, you have me intrigued. Haven’t started it yet as I’m in the middle of writing my second novel and it’s about an 8-year-old boy and girl growing up in abusive relationships in the 1970s and I’m a bit worried it might influence me. Then again, I won’t know until I read it.

      • I tend not to read in the same area that I’m writing in for that very reason. I’d class My Little Friend as literary crime, if I was going to give it any label at all. It’s fairly unique. I think there is a lot to be learnt, technique-wise, from Donna Tartt’s writing, without danger of copying her story. You’re probably safe reading it while writing your own novel.

      • Thanks, I’ll dive in then. Because I’ve been dying to start it and it could be years before I finish my own novel!

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