Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014
Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, 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 tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Moving and suspenseful, The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction) examines the singular life story of Theo Dexter and his inextricable link to a mysterious painting. Donna Tartt, the critically acclaimed author of The Secret History, uses gorgeous prose to explore every crevice of her protagonist’s mind—from the trauma of his mother’s shocking death to his involvement in the art underworld.
Donna Tartt's latest novel clocks in at an unwieldy 784 pages. The story begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum that kills narrator Theo Decker's beloved mother and results in his unlikely possession of a Dutch masterwork called The Goldfinch. Shootouts, gangsters, pillowcases, storage lockers, and the black market for art all play parts in the ensuing life of the painting in Theo's care. With the same flair for suspense that made The Secret History (1992) such a masterpiece, The Goldfinch features the pulp of a typical bildungsroman Theo's dissolution into teenage delinquency and climb back out, his passionate friendship with the very funny Boris, his obsession with Pippa (a girl he first encounters minutes before the explosion) but the painting is the novel's secret heart. Theo's fate hinges on the painting, and both take on depth as it steers Theo's life. Some sentences are clunky ("suddenly" and "meanwhile" abound), metaphors are repetitive (Theo's mother is compared to birds three times in 10 pages), and plot points are overly coincidental (as if inspired by TV), but there's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic, perhaps because of his well-meaning criminality. The Goldfinch is a pleasure to read; with more economy to the brushstrokes, it might have been great.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Haunting and beautiful
This emotional roller coaster draws you in with rich descriptions and a compelling plot. At times it can drag as the descriptions can carry on for a bit, but once picked up this story can't be put down. Intense, dark and deeply philosophical, you might want to have something lighthearted lined up to read afterward.
A good start
Great storyline and start to the book but towards the end it became longwinded. The main character I came to dislike and to find unbelievable but perhaps that reflects the skill of the writer!