Thursday, January 23, 2014
THE GOLDFINCH (2013)
Early in the morning I read the most astonishingly beautiful sentence and realized it was the end - that when I 'turned the page' there would be no more and I cried.
The night before I had been so intensely involved with read Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch that I stayed up until very late thinking I could finish it before retiring. Approaching 2:00 AM I realized that I would need to sleep first.
What's odd is that I was seduced into my late night attempt because my Kindle tells me percentage read. Intuitively I should realize that a percentage of a long book will mean more pages but reading on a Kindle distances one from a feel for the shape and weight of the book.
Right now I am longing for my own copy. I highlighted sentences and passages on the Kindle but I want to hold the physical book in my hands. I want to flip through the pages and re-read sections and write in the margins.
At GoodReads the reviews are passionate but not always positive. It makes me sad when others cannot find the beauty or even acknowledge it. You don't have to 'like' a book to recognize it's worth.
Donna Tartt's writing is like music. She has created fascinating characters that are unforgettable, who remain mysterious even when we feel we know them.
This is Theo's book and he tells the story in retrospect beginning at thirteen when a terrible disaster occurred that changed the course of his life. One might identify this as a Bildungsroman. It is that, but its form constantly morphs. Melanie, a reviewer on GoodReads commented that there are elements of “thriller, Bildungsroman, philosophical treaty, coming of age tale, epic, travelogue, memoir”.
Let this story surprise and delight you.
Bottom Line: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED but make sure you have the time it deserves.
Title: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
No. of Pages: 784 pages
Copyright: October 22, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Disclaimer: Purchased for my Kindle Fire because I couldn't get a copy from the library quickly enough.
Donna Tartt is an elusively private author but I did find this fascinating interview with the British Telegraph 12/9/2013. She has written two previous well-reviewed books: The Secret History (1992) and The Little Friend (2002), both of which I was lucky enough to read at the time they were published.