April Book of The Month, The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, is an impressive account of loss, love, and the trans-formative power of art. Let’s get started, shall we?
This month, our protagonist is 13 year old Theo Decker. Abandoned by the man he called his father, we are led through the life of Theo and his mother. His father, a man of great excesses, with a simmering and explosive rage leaves them near destitute; times are hard but somehow, they manage to get by. One would expect that this shift would cause them much grief, but, in some paradoxical emotional twist, this gives them a new lease on life. They are, If only for a little while, unabashedly happy.
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But life, as it happens, is unforgiving with mortality; in one sweeping motion, Theo and his mother are involved in an accident that results in her eventual death. It is from this point that the book shifts and carries us through the half man half boy transition that consequently defines Theo’s life.
Now orphaned, he is adopted by a wealthy family, and thus, his transformation begins. The book describes how he adjusts to a new lifestyle and begins to deal with his grief. Throughout this change, one thing persists, his longing for his mother.
As he battles with his grief, he has one memory of his mother: a small, unusual painting named The Goldfinch, by artist Carel Fabritius. His obvious fixation with her memory and attachment to this work of art leads him into discovering the hidden pleasures of the art world.
The author, Stephen King describes the book as being, “a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind.” We can only hope that these too, will be your sentiments upon finishing this book.
Get your copy here.
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