The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a Pulitzer Prize winning book. It was a very good book, but even better to be done with it. It’s a long (drawn out) coming of age tale. Actually, the present day story itself is pretty short, 90 percent of this book is tragic back-story. The Goldfinch is a masterpiece painting that has a nasty habit of getting stolen. I lost count exactly how many times it got stolen during the story. My sense is it’s an important book. It’s about terrorism, black-markets, no parents, death, drugs, and a whole cast of awful characters. It’s a bit too long of a book since the main character is so unlikable, but it is extremely well written and manages to draw the reader-in. Ultimately it’s a book about priorities. Loving what you can’t have, and missing out on what you do have.
That said, what the book is about is irrelevant. It’s a complex tale that is told with extraordinary realism. The characters are complex, sad, and know-able, and I don’t want to meet any of them. It could be fiction or biographical. There are happy scenes (a few) and gut wrenching scenes (many). If you like complex, realistic well-told stories, this one is for you. I start many more books than I finish, so the fact that I finished it is an endorsement in itself. It was very good, but it’s not for everyone.
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