Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trust the hype, it's been a while since I read a 780-page book in 5 days and actually suffered pangs awakening and realizing it was over. I'd finished it after almost a week of constant company.  No more The Goldfinch to fall into and evade most other activities. And what will become of Theo? of Pippa?  They are still in their twenties when the book ends but the story of their meeting, their sublime disastrous connection precludes a future or does it? Theo's almost hopeful final thoughts close the story as he adds his "love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them."  Tartt has succeeded in keeping me enthralled from the events at the museum and their tragic aftermath and the glaring descriptions of Las Vegas living and youthful drug exploration on into serious addiction to the vagaries of curating and exploiting antique furniture.  A 14-year-old boy is possessed by a 17th C painting of a captive goldfinch, an actual work of art by Fabritius. "if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don't think 'oh, I love this picture because it's universal.' 'I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.' That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes individual heart-shock. Your dream...yours, yours. I was painted for you."  The book spoke to this reader.

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