This week I’m thankful for Donna Tartt’s existence and her talent: I just finished The Goldfinch and I absolutely loved it.
I went into this book fairly blind – as blind as you can be with a book that was met with so much hype. If anything, my expectations were low, as all I had really read were a few snippets of some bad reviews, mostly saying that the book was boring and questioning why anyone would care so much about a painting. All of which resulted in me going into the book with visions of a 700-page exposition about a painting. Instead, I got a vivid and moving story about boy and then a man, who grapples with death and drugs and, well, life in general, and the painting is a shining light of beauty in an otherwise bleak existence. While the book is very much about the painting, its actual physical presence is mimimal. Rather, its existence serves as an object to haunt, inspire, depress and redeem Theo throughout his life and is the product and inspiration for acts of both good and evil. Without it, the book would just be another story about a drunk and depressive white guy, living (if you could call it that) in New York city.
Tartt is at her Secret History-best with this book, although it is a VERY different book from The Secret History. The writing was sharp, the characters were well-drawn and interesting, the story moved along nicely, and kept me entertained for all 771 pages.
My only complaint is that I wish Tartt wouldn’t take so bloody long to write her books – I’m not asking for Jodi Piccoult-style prolificness, just maybe one every 2 years rather than one every 10. Is that too much to ask?