I never read Donna Tartt’s first two novels. I heard it took her 11 years to write her third: The Goldfinch. As much as it took her over a decade to finish, the story reads like eleven years. Slow and dense. But flipping backwards, there really isn’t any detail that can be taken out. Nothing is particularly redundant. But some of these events fail to conquer a wholesome story.
Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker survives an art museum bomb attack that tragically kills his mother. They were seeking temporary refuge from the New York rain at the museum when the bomb exploded. Without any rhyme or reason as he miraculously survives the attack, he takes (steals) Carel Fabritius’ painting The Goldfinch and walks out of the museum. After spending a few weeks at his peer’s house, Theo is sent to his long lost father, Larry, who lives in Vegas with his new girlfriend Xandra. Trying to settle down into his new life after the loss of his dear mother, Theo silently and desperately searches to detach from the life of crimes his father had created. And of course concealing his stolen ownership of the painting. For twenty something years.
Tartt doesn’t write about anything in a continuous manner. Sometimes, we forget about the painting; sometimes we forget about the death of his mother; sometimes we forget who he was really in love it, who his real friends were. And still now, I am unclear about what he really wants in life, or what his thoughts are about the bomb, or his stealing from the museum. There is a “beginning” of a lot of stories, situations, problems, events, etc. But there is a lack of closures or conclusions or “endings” that often brings it together as one story. Much like this review.
dee’s recommendation: 2.5/5