I asked for The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) for Christmas (and received it – thanks mom & dad) and settled into reading it nearly every evening since then (it is 771 pages long). Now I find myself missing this book every evening. I had settled into a routine of stressing about Theo and his issues. This won the Pulitzer in 2013 so I am late in my praise, but having loved it as much as I did, I still want to write a short tribute to this book.
Books like this are why I love to read. (Though to be fair – a book like this comes along for me – if I’m lucky – maybe/hopefully once a year.) There is so much to love about this novel, but when I break down why I love how Donna Tartt told this story it comes down to People, Places, & Things.
I already mentioned Theo, who tells this story, but Boris is another character I will never forget.
“We looked at each other. And it occurred to me that despite his faults, which were numerous and spectacular, the reason I’d liked Boris and felt happy around him from almost the moment I’d met him was that he was never afraid. You didn’t meet many people who moved freely through the world with such a vigorous contempt for it and at the same time such oddball and unthwartable faith in what, in childhood, he had liked to call “the Planet of Earth.'”
The intemperance of the two as unsupervised teenagers was so horrific but believable and beautiful at the same time because at least they had each other.
Which brings me to…
I loved the way I could actually feel the inside of an antique shop and the streets in New York, the desolation of the desert near Las Vegas, and the canals of Amsterdam.
Based around a painting, this book has several passages that describe how a particular thing (a painting) captivates people.
The final Section V begins with this quote:
“We have art in order not to die from the trash.” – Nietzsche
And this is how I feel about literature like The Goldfinch.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, you will not pay any extra but I may make a small commission. Thank you for supporting Leslie’s Bookcase.