Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The reading of this book was a family affair, as is the plot of the book itself.  Amanda gave the book to Jackie for Christmas, she loved it and passed it on.  If only such relatively placid family goings-on could have been the case with the book's main character. We meet him as a middle school kid living with his mom in Manhattan.  They love each other and have a nice life, even though dad is out of the picture and other relatives don't care. He has a few minor behavior issues, like most 13 year old kids, and it involves a trip to the school administrators for a discussion.  The events that follow change his life, and what a life.  He moves from pillar to post.  When you think you know where his life is going, circumstances change, often in a big way, and he adjusts, though probably in ways many of us would not choose.  Given the events in his life, he does alright, but more importantly, it opens the reader to worlds outside our purview and a plot that is satisfying in its depth, warmth, breadth, and skill.

When a book can win the Pulitzer Prize and also be a best seller for quite a while, you know you've run into a rare story.  It's a long book (766 pages in hard cover) yet one you can read at 40 to 50 pages at a sitting because it is so well written and the story so compelling.  Critics are now arguing if it's a great book, in the college literature sense of the meaning.  I can't say, but it is a wonderful read and a book I'll remember for a long time.

1 comment:

Becky said...

This has been on my list since Amanda gave it to mom for Christmas. I think I might get it and take it with me to Bali! Thanks for posting!