The Goldfinch, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart.

Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend.

He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works.

He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power.

Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.


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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Wow, what an enthralling reading. Even though with 868 pp it takes its time reading it, it's worth every minute. I dropped very quickly into the story and felt like being a part of it. Sometimes I had the feeling I would like to be Theo's guardian angel, trying to keep him away from bad moves. On the other hand all other main characters were challenging figures, too and the interactions among them were fascinating.

Review by

I'm not sure what to say about this. It is an entertaining, boldly plotted but ultimately implausible and somewhat sentimental fairy tale, but has some interesting ideas on art and the futility of conventional morality.

Review by

Words can't describe how wonderful this book is. I was reluctant to read it as I thought it couldn't possible live up to its hype - but. wow, it does that and more. The story of Theo, while incredible, seems so real and true. While the book is not, on the whole, positive or uplifting, I came away at the end feeling both. What I most loved was how the author described the effect that art can have on people and its importance - "a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular". And "isn't the whole point of things - beautiful things - that they connect you to some larger beauty? Those first images that crack your heart wide open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to recapture, in one way or another?" Yes, yes, yes!! This is so exactly how I feel and speaks so closely to my experience - how could I not love this book?? #Goldfinch #DonnaTartt

Review by

I'd read Tartt's two previous books so I came to this expecting two things. The first being the language, and I wasn't disappointed. Tartt is known for her long Victorian sentences, but she has improved on what they were doing. There's perfect balance and you will never have to hunt back to connect verb and subject. There's one sentence late on in the book which is a page long. I got to the end with ease and only then realised what I'd just read. Just take the first paragraph as an example. The first sentence is short, a thesis statement, but it's also a joke: "See, I can write short ones". The second sentence is long, balanced and the rhythm is beautiful but notice that it's divided by first an semi-colon and then a colon. It's a tricolon. the third sentence is two sections divided by a dash, but imbedded in the first section is another bracketed section: a second tricolon. The whole paragraph is a tricolon because it has three sentences. That makes three tricolons. The second thing I was looking for was a hidden meaning. In her earlier novels you are early on told core truths in an offhand manner, except you don't know you're being told them because you don't know what will be important at the end of the book. I had to read both twice before I cottoned on. This book on a first reading is satisfying, full of significance, full of questions and sleight of hand, so much more to see, I'll read it again.

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