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Jul 2014 by PCI College

Bite-Sized Book Review The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Maria McGrath, Marketing Manager reviews The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt in this weeks Bite-Sized Book Review

The Goldfinch is a sprawling coming-of-age book centred on 13-year-old Theo Decker.   Theo is charmed by a young girl who is visiting the Metropolitan Art Museum with an elderly man, and wants to look at her a bit more, prompting his mother to go and take a look at her favourite paintings. Just after she disappears a bomb explodes, turning the museum rubble, killing Theo’s mother and bystanders and turning Theo’s world upside down. At the behest of a dying old man, he makes off with a painting—the 1654 Carel Fabritius masterpiece, The Goldfinch. For the next 14 years and 700 pages, the painting becomes both his burden and the only connection to his lost mother, while he’s flung from New York to Las Vegas to Amsterdam, encountering an array of eccentric characters along the way.

From the outset, the plot appeared to be fascinating and engaging - Theo Decker, who has loved and lost, who enters the criminal underworld, an individual who finally makes a marvellous discovery in life and then, of course, there is his talisman, the painting of The Goldfinch.
There is a lot to admire about the novel as the writing is excellent, the characters are very well drawn, the sense of time and place is excellent and for the first 200 pages I was engrossed with the story. However,  Donna Tartt's latest novel has left me relatively unimpressed. Theo became a very unlikeable character, suspense was built and then the storyline forgotten, and in truth the book became monotonous.  I did finish the book but this was more out of my determination to stick with it than any great interest in how it would end.

However, I seem to be in the minority as it appears that The Goldfinch is the “It novel” of the year and the talking point at
many a table so I recommend you read it and find out for yourself…

Maria McGrath, PCI College Marketing Manager (July 2014)

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