A review by astoryofpages
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

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


It was long, too long. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book but... I think yet I had too high expectations. I loved The Secret History by this author (one of my favourite books) and I was excepting the same mystic atmosphere. Instead, I didn't feel any empathy for the characters. Things kept happening in Theo's life but I was like "well, good luck" and kept reading. And the moments/characters that interested me were completely secondary and quickly put aside (I love you Pippa. No kidding).

I was also quite lost in this "universe". Not being American (and not living in an English-speaking country), I did not understand the many nods to brands, TV channels, the streets of New York, etc. And not knowing much about art either, I was quickly lost when we started to mention the names of painters and their works. So the long descriptions were quite boring, but I also couldn't read diagonally because every detail is important at some point. So if you skip something, you might get lost a few pages down the line. The length of the chapters was also a problem: on chapters of 150 pages, it ran out of steam a bit in the middle, before obviously ending on a cliffhanger at the end.

The story remains very beautiful, the writing very poetic, and it would be a lie to say that Donna Tartt did not surprise me more than once.

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