A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
A young New Yorker grieving his mother's death is pulled into a gritty underworld of art and wealth in this "extraordinary" and beloved Pulitzer Prize winner from the author of The Secret History that "connects with the heart as well as the mind" (Stephen King, New York Times Book Review).
Theo Decker, a 13-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 a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community. 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. From the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld, this "soaring masterpiece" examines the devastating impact of grief and the ruthless machinations of fate (Ron Charles, Washington Post).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like Job or the unlucky protagonist of a Victorian novel, Theo Decker is dealt blow after blow. The unforgettable hero of Donna Tartt’s astounding novel, The Goldfinch, is a daydreamy boy who lives in a cozy Manhattan apartment with his vivacious mother until, one day, their happy existence is blown to pieces. Tartt—winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction—rolls out the tumult of Theo’s life with dazzling prose that makes his every emotion, thought, and experience achingly real. She envelops the reader in Theo’s world, rendering the people and places that slide in and out of his life with cinematic precision and sly humor. As you’re pulled deeper into the murk—and into the mystery of Theo’s inextricable link to a luminous painting—you'll wait breathlessly to find out what happens next, clinging to the rays of kindness and light that Tartt captures so beautifully.
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.
This book completely immerses the reader in its world and characters. So much to think about, and Theo, a fully developed and wonderful character, just grabs the reader and demands attention. I loved the story and am only sorry that I will have to wait so long for Tartt to write another.
It could have been a great book because of its story of loss and love. Instead the pages are filled to the brim with the ramblings of a pathetic drug addicted and self destructive protagonist.
I read her other two books many years ago - both memorable books, so when I saw another from Donna Tartt, I snapped it up. No regrets. This is the bet book I've read in quite awhile. Great characters that I loved, despite their imperfections. I can't stop thinking about this book.