This was a slow-burning book I started in August in North Dakota and finished last week back home in Nova Scotia.
It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014, and was Tartt’s first new book in 11 years.
I love the characters in this book. I think that’s one of the reason I took so long to read it. Opening the book was like having a friend to go back to. I used to do the same thing with Harry Potter books. A lot of the characters feel like imaginary friends.
The book covers the adolescence and early adulthood of protagonist, Theo, after his mother is killed in a terrorist bombing attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. A shellshocked Theo leaves the museum carrying the namesake goldfinch painting by Carel Fabritius, and the rest of the book (and Theo’s life) deals with the fallout from that event.
The book moves with Theo from New York, to the desert of Las Vegas, to Europe, and more. It navigates the life of an abandoned boy who is adopted by the world of art and has to navigate life as an orphan and also a boy in love with the mysterious redheaded girl he falls in love with minutes before the terrorist attack.
And don’t forget, he’s also stolen a priceless painting.
The relationships in this book are written beautiful. I don’t want to spoil too much, because this is a really special book and I think you should read it for yourself.