Friday 24 February 2017

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Book Title: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Genre: Literary, Contemporary, Pulitzer Price
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Library 
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Goodreads Summary: Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

What did I think? The Goldfinch starts with a bang. Literally. Theo Decker gets thrown out of his ordinary life with what in other stories would be the climax. It's an exciting first chapter. Lots of action... and then it just sort of dies down and transforms into a stream of consciousness that sort of limps along. Sadly the limping lasts for several hundred pages and nothing much happens to Theo in these pages.

The prose, however, is gorgeous and the characters are memorable. I can definitely see why so many love this book and why it has won the Pulitzer Price. Donna Tartt really has a way with words.

Which means, I'm mostly conflicted about this book. Parts of it I loved and during other parts I just wanted to bring it back to the library and be done with it. If only an editor would have cut all the repetitive detail in the middle?

The novel picks up the pace in the last few chapters but not enough for me to be satisfied with the ending.


  1. I know this one is a big hit with book clubs and is a popular literary fic title but I've just never been drawn to it. Your mention of the stream of consciousness narrative and the repetition pretty much seals the deal that this isn't one for me. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more, Olivia.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    1. I do think I managed to learn from it anyway, as a writer. There were brilliant things to take away from it even though as a whole it wasn't for me.

  2. I enjoyed this one immensely. It's all character development which is par the course for literary fiction. And it's a tome, but it's so memorable. I read this a while back and I still remember the characters so vividly.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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    1. I can absolutely see why people loved this and why it received the Pulitzer Price. The character development was interesting and the prose is wonderful. Thank you for dropping by :)

  3. I've heard a few good and bad things about this book but even so it just doesn't grab me at all. I'm not sure why but I just don't feel inclined to pick it up...sorry that this didn't satisfy you!

  4. I'm all for character development, but this one may be a bit too slow for my taste. It seems like everyone I know has read this, but I'll probably continue to pass on it for now.

    1. I guess it's true that tastes are very different!