It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Pages: 771 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Published October 22nd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Source: Checked out from the library
Date Completed: September 2, 2014
I had heard so many things about The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and was glad to find out what the fuss was about when the book was selected as the April read for the Partners and Professors book club. I started the book about a month before the meeting and the first section was easy to read and process. I found Theo relatable and was rooting for him. As the book progressed, I had a harder time getting through and find annoyed with Theo. Each section seemed to contain a sprinkle of hope, a bad decision, and drugs. I was glad to have built in breaks from the book, thanks to library wait lists.
My favorite character was Hobie, who in fact redeemed the book for me. The last section drew me in and made me feel a bit better about humanity and the state of the world. There were many powerful and poignont moments. Finishing the book felt like a big accomplishment. This was the last book I read before my son was born and I remember when I finished thinking, "Okay, the baby can come now because I just completed a massive project." While I did not adore the book as much as many others, I am glad to have read it.
I am counting it for the 2014 Chunkster Reading Challenge: At 771 pages, this is certainly a chunkster.