The Goldfinch

This is a book I had been wanting to read since my undergraduate days. I will always remember seeing it on my kindle first options and NOT picking it. Shortly thereafter, the book gained in popularity. Even a peer in a biochemistry class of mine carried it around for several weeks causing me to have immense book regret.

Thankfully, after all this time, The Goldfinch was recently on sale and I have finally read it! Only took 4 years!

Overall, I will say the book did not live up to the anticipation. I am most likely unfairly judging it because of my high expectations, as I am prone to doing when I covet a book for so long.

The Goldfinch felt like a never ending story. There were many opportunities in the plot for the story to end but it kept being unnecessarily drawn out. As a reader I didn’t quite see the point of extending the story for so long, particularly since there were several break points in the plot that made for excellent endings.

To be noted that Donna Tartt did an amazing job constructing her characters. They felt like real people, and the characteristics described in many of the characters I could visualize these same traits in people in my own life. Unfortunately, due to the dragging plot line, by the end of the book I grew tired of many of the characters. I am not sure if that was the point, or just my own personal bias.

I will also give Donna Tartt credit for capturing the power that art can have on people. The way she described the painting of the goldfinch and the awe it inspired in the main character, Theo, made you feel like you were seeing it through his eyes. In my case, I was not previously familiar with this painting and thanks to my naivety I truly saw the painting the way Theo saw it. Now when looking up images for this post I couldn’t help but be disappointed when seeing the painting for my own eyes. Theo had a more intimate connection with this painting than I do, which has removed some of the magic.

All in all I would not recommend this book. I would enjoy discussing this book with people who are already presently reading it, or have read it. But I would not go out of my way to push anyone to read it.

“‘Who was it said that coincidence was just God’s way of remaining anonymous?’” – Donna Tartt

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