Friday, 23 May 2014

THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

This is 800 pages of pleasure. It is an entirely unpretentious, and I can't believe it won the Pulitzer.

The book tells the story of a young boy who is in the Met in New York with his mother when it is bombed. She dies, he lives. As he leaves the museum, he takes a picture with him - the Goldfinch of the title - and this picture becomes increasingly important to him as his life unravels. The novel follows him onwards to his twenties, and is at every point engaging, interesting, and believable. The characters are so well drawn I sort of feel like I must have met them. There is a bit of a false note at the end, when the author tries to explicitly draw together the various themes: we give our own lives meaning/beauty is a mystery/ etc; but overall a most beautifully written novel.

Strangely, though, I find I have virtually nothing else to say about it. It was fantastic for plot and character, but I don't think I thought anything new as a result of it. However I won't complain: a very happy week's reading. Thank you Ms Tartt.

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