*Contains no spoilers*
This was a true sky-scraper of a novel. A sweeping epic in the grandest sense that could be compared to Swann’s Way by Proust or even a Dickensian tale like Oliver Twist. The Goldfinch has all of the hallmarks of one of these epic novels because it involves a believable modern-day premise, believable characters and a emotional bare-bones rawness that really lacks from a lot of novels.
I can’t really go into the details of the narrative without ruining the entire thing, except to say that this is a novel to read if you haven’t read something great in a while or if you desire simply wallowing in a book for a good solid few days. It’s a long brick of a book at over 800 pages but each page is easily accounted for and necessary.
Theo Decker is a damaged, stubborn, precocious and entirely believable protagonist as are all of the characters and the various American settings where they roam around. They all glitter and dance off the page with the feather-light and yet powerful skill of Donna Tartt, who is a consummate storyteller. This novel is exhilerating and heartbreaking, infact it’s so amazing that it will rip your heart out and won’t allow you to forget it for the rest of your life.
Donna Tartt has written only a handful of books in her writing life and yet she seems to pour every ounce of herself into them. The Secret History was an explosive book and really intellectual and stylish. The Goldfinch is different and in a way more ambitious than her two previous novels because it traverses many worlds (read many socio-economical backgrounds), many ways of seeing reality, life and death. It has been over a decade in the making and it was worth the wait. It’s a post 9-11 bildungsroman about being a young person in a confusing and terrifying age. She really pulls it off.
I can’t explain more without giving it away but if you would like to read it…I can send it to you. Past attempts at giving away my books have been met with no real takers. But if you want The Goldfinch I have one copy – a once-read almost new copy to give away. So please write in the comments below and I’ll get your address for sending the book to you via post.