Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt...

How I Heard About It:  One of my favorite things to do is read book reviews.  When I see a book title appear in several different publications, I start to consider it as a possible read.  After further investigation of this book, I knew it was something I had to read.  Now that I have finished all 771 pages, I'm so pleased that I had the opportunity to read this masterpiece.  

What It Is About:  The novel follows the life of Theo Decker.  It opens when he is age 13 and living in New York City with his mother.  His father took off and left the two alone.  Theo doesn't exactly fit in with the crowd at school and has made some poor choices.  Because of one of these poor choices, Theo and his mother have to report to school to discuss the incident.  To pass some time before the school meeting, they decide to visit a museum to take in some art.  At some point Theo and his mother become separated at the museum and are victims of an explosion.  Theo survives, but his mother does not.  As Theo is making his way out of the museum, he takes a famous painting called The Goldfinch.  No one notices him take the painting as they are all consumed by the explosion.  Following his mother's death, he spends time with a friend's rich family and becomes a member of their clan.  Just as Theo is getting use to his new life, his father and new girlfriend show up on his doorstep.  The three of them end up going to live in Las Vegas.  Theo spends a few years in Vegas and becomes friends with another lost soul named Borris.  After some rough years in Vegas and another loss, Theo ends up back in New York living with and working for a man that has a connection to the day of the explosion.  The story follows Theo as he tries to make something of himself as an adult, make amends for the mistakes he has made, and to reconcile his mother's death and the painting he took all those years ago.  (This got a bit long and I didn't cover the 1/2 of it)

What I Thought Of It:   Nothing brings me more joy than finding a novel that grabs hold of me and doesn't let go until well after I finish the book.  That happened with this novel.  As long as the book was, I could not put it down and found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it.  Normally a book this size, this complex, and this detailed isn't typically my type of book.  This was not the case.  The writing in was superb.  The characters were fascinating.  The plot of unique, deep, and mesmerizing.  This novel has become one of my new favorite adult books.  My goal now is to read her other two pieces of fiction.

Who Should Read It:  If you are a reader that enjoys a "BIG" read, then this is the book for you.  As long as it is, it moves quickly and will keep your interest until the very end.  This is a novel not to be missed.  I can now see why it was on so many "must-read" list for 2013 and I'm sure will continue to be just as popular in 2014.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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