The Goldfinch

Whew . . . I can’t believe I finished the whole thing and . . . it was a delicious read. I’m talking about Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which was awarded the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction. It’s not the kind of book that I typically read: the main characters are male; the two most interesting female characters have little “page time;” and it is densely descriptive. Too many descriptive passages in a novel are usually turnoffs for me, but Tartt’s writing is so beautiful that I felt immersed in the world she painted. It seems that she chose every word with care, like a brush stroke, and though the book is over 700 pages, not one word seems wasted.

I love a book that leaves me feeling lonely after I’ve finished reading it. I miss sharing time with the characters and the story. The characters in The Goldfinch are so intricately developed that even the dog has a personality!

If you haven’t read the book, briefly, it is about a boy, Theo Decker, who loses his mother in a terrorist bombing. This loss profoundly alters his life and sets him on a path of crime, drug abuse, and chronic guilt and loneliness. Doesn’t sound like fun? No, it doesn’t, but as told by a gifted writer, the story is captivating. I am in awe of her talent.

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