The Goldfinch

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A small, tethered bird in a painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius, becomes an allegory for the main character in Donna Tartt’s new novel, The Goldfinch.

In a modern Dickensian tale, with heavy shades of David Copperfield, Theo’s mother is killed in a bombing at a New York museum. Right after the explosion, a man Theo doesn’t know asks him to return a ring to an antique shop, and also hands him a painting, The Goldfinch. Coincidentally, Theo and his mother were discussing this very painting moments before the bomb went off.

Theo holds onto the painting throughout the years, as he is constantly uprooted from a rich school friend’s home, to his estranged father’s in Las Vegas, where he meets Boris, a boy headed for trouble, and finally an antique shop with Hobie, the partner of the man who gave him the painting.

Told in first person, Theo is both a sympathetic and unsavory character, clearly a victim of his childhood trauma. Boris, his best friend in Las Vegas, is a thug in the making, and some of it rubs off on Theo. The writing is sharp, the characters deftly drawn, and the 784 pages move swiftly. It is definitely worth reading.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 784 pages
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date 2013-Oct-22
ISBN 9780316055437 Buy this Book
Issue January 2014
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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