A review by rhughes7
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

dark emotional mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This books reads like a modern Brothers Karamazov. Slow-paced and artful, it felt like sinful to leave it unfinished, and yet I had to read in small chunks. The plot is long and winding, and it seems very much driven by the events of the main character’s life, rather than one particular storyline or plot. Of course, this makes sense because
SpoilerTheo reveals at the end that he composed this book originally as a series of letters to his dead mother
. This book speaks truthfully of childhood trauma, PTSD, and addiction, as well as questioning the purpose of art and objects, and broaching the unquestionable brutality of life. I would not recommend this book to the casual reader, as I myself had to commit specific time to reading it and did not often find myself *wanting* to read it. And yet, once I picked it up, I was engrossed, and there was never a time I considered not finishing it (hence several overdue notices from the library!). A final note, the last 20 or so pages are fairly “preachy,” which, while it bothers me in the abstract, I actually rather enjoyed reading. I will be thinking about this one for a while, and wish I had a seminar class with which to discuss. 

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