The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch is only the third book by Donna Tartt, it was published in late 2013, winning many awards and quickly climbing to the top 10 favorite books of that year. This is an incredible story about adolescence and grief.  

How one teenage boy was struck with a tragic event that ended his mothers life and how the rest of his life was affected by it. Donna Tartt is a very talented writer, her stories make you feel like you are there, with the characters, experiencing everything they are. The story is about Theo Decker, a 13 year old boy whose mother dies tragically in a explosion at an art museum. He walks away unharmed, but now possesses a valuable painting, which he guards throughout his adolescence and into adulthood. Theo may seem like he got the better end of the deal, surviving that explosion, but he is a very troubled young man. Never getting over the grief of loosing his mother, and then having to live with his friend and then with his alcoholic father, he makes some bad choices. Getting involved with a Russian/Polish schoolmate, he begins to do drugs at a very young age, only to have his black cloud of doom follow him into adulthood.

Oh the Goldfinch, how I love this book, and I have absolutely no idea why I like it. It's not my type of book, I like girly books, with hot men and people falling in love. Or a good mystery, something to keep me guessing. But this book is totally different from what I would normally read for enjoyment. It felt more like a book a teacher would assign in class because we could learn from it. And I got to say it has a lot of lessons to learn from, about family, loss, friends, lying, trust. But read it and tell me what you think.

I think the character were exceptionally well developed, the whole plot felt very believable and everything just fell into place. The author did a fantastic job with setting the scenes, I felt like I was there with Theo, going through what he was going through. I should also give props to the audio book production and the narrator David Pittu. He did a wonderful job with the voices, especially Boris, his Ukrainian/Russuan/Polish accent was accurate. I'm Polish I should know.

Don't be intimidated at first, it takes a long time for the plot to unwind, and to develop all that is happening and all that is going to happen. There are some little plot twists which really made me gasp, and then there are some things that didn't affect me much, but all in all this was a great book and I recommend it to everyone. It is big though, but don't be scared, you can do it!