The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, is a best selling novel that combines suspense, romance and drama. At almost 800 pages, this is an epic tale that deliberately follows in the tradition of Dickens and other classical novels of the past. This is one of the most compelling and enjoyable page-turners to have come out in a long time. Fans of best sellers and engaging books in general should not miss this novel. You can find this best seller here.
Although Tartt began her writing career with another best seller, The Secret History, back in 1992, The Goldfinchis only her third novel. In between, she wrote The Little Friend in 2002. As Tartt has revealed in interviews, she is comfortable with the leisurely schedule of writing only one novel per decade!
The Goldfinch tells the story of Theo Decker, a boy whose mother is killed during a terrorist incident in New York City at an art museum. During this incident, Theo runs off with the painting named The Goldfinch. This is an actual painting by Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) that is currently on display at The Frick Collection in New York City. In the novel, however, the painting is secretly taken by Theo. For a long time, it is not missed because of all of the chaos and damage caused by the bomb. Theo’s fate becomes entwined with that of a girl named Pippa, who was also at the museum during the explosion.
Theo’s life takes many diverse and improbably bizarre turns. At first he stays with the family of a wealthy friend on Park Avenue. He is then taken away by his father, who is living near Las Vegas with his new wife. There he befriends a charming but dissolute boy named Boris, with whom he gets into all kinds of trouble. He eventually flees his father’s place and returns to New York, where he stays with an antique dealer whose partner was killed in the same explosion that killed Theo’s mother.
Donna Tartt discusses The Goldfinch
The novel’s plot is extremely complex, but it’s always enjoyable to follow. It’s almost like following an old fashioned radio show or comic book, where you can’t wait to find out what will happen next. The Goldfinch is by no means perfect. As many critics have argued, parts of it, especially the ending, could have benefited with some editing. Yet the parts that are good are so very compelling that in all likelihood you’ll be able to overlook the shortcomings.
Donna Tartt, though hardly one of our most prolific novelists, is still one of the world’s most compelling writers.The Goldfinch shows that she’s still at the top of her game.