Home » Book Biz » BOOK BIZ — If you haven’t read The Goldfinch, please do

BOOK BIZ — If you haven’t read The Goldfinch, please do

» The Goldfinch By Donna Tartt Published by Little, Brown and Company $29.99 hardback; $18.00 softback

» The Goldfinch
By Donna Tartt
Published by Little, Brown and Company
$29.99 hardback; $18.00 softback

When native Mississippian Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014, all of us Mississippians were proud. Her honor was duly reported in this column, but I didn’t run out and buy it. I wanted to read it, but somehow, at that time, I wasn’t up to the daunting 784 pages.

Later, a friend gave me a hardback copy of this voluminous book. And so I picked it up — no small feat while lying in bed — and began the 784-page journey with young Theodore Decker, wondering if I could stick with it to the end. The answer is a resounding yes. If you still haven’t read this outstanding novel, please do so. Now you can purchase the softback and not have to lift the weight of the hardback. In this case you may even be excused for reading the electronic version.

This book is so engaging and well written, you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. When I say it’s easy to read, I don’t mean it’s easy because it’s simplistic. Far from it. While reading The Goldfinch, you are in the hands of a master story teller and writer. That’s what really good writers do: they pull us into the story and make us want to pick up the book and stick with it in a seemingly effortless way. After 784 pages I still was not ready for it to end.

The story begins at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where 12-year-old Theo and his mother go to see an exhibit of Dutch paintings. They become separated and there’s a terrorist explosion that kills Theo’s mother. Dazed and frightened, Theo escapes with a small Dutch masterpiece, The Goldfinch, painted by Carel Fabritius in 1654.

His adventures are just starting. He lives with a wealthy NYC family, then in Las Vegas with his  errant father, then back to NYC to live with an aging antiques restorer and later to Amsterdam to recover the stolen painting. Along the way he becomes a man and encounters a plethora of characters — the socialite Mrs. Barbour and her family, Larry Decker and his girlfriend Xandra, Boris, Hobie, Pippa, and a little dog called Popper. Tartt clearly defines the characters so we feel we really know them. I could go on and on, but just read and enjoy!

— Lynn Lofton, mbj@msbusiness.com

About Lynn Lofton

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