The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily 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 at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.


My first impression of this book? It’s long! Be prepared for a commitment if you decide to pick this one up, but I do believe that you will not be disappointed if you do. I was engaged in the story from the very first chapter, and at no point while reading did I feel like picking up a red pen and slashing unnecessary passages. At no time was the author overly verbose, the book is long because Theo’s story is involved.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started to read this book, but my idea of the story that developed in my head after reading its synopsis, is not the book I ended up reading. The story is very cyclical in nature and Theo often finds himself circling back to people and places from his past at different times. Theo is a complicated character and I found myself alternating between dislike and pity as his story unfolded. At some points, I was overcome with compassion for the tragedy that forever changed Theo’s life, but at others I couldn’t help but shake my head at some of the choices that Theo made, especially when he himself knew they were not the best ideas. The story line was unexpected and so intricate that for the most part, I had no idea where it was going. I do wish the ending had been a bit happier/more complete, but other than that I really don’t have any complaints.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book with more than 500 pages

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