It took me a few days after finishing Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch to decide I was, in fact, going to write a review. And once I had decided, I knew it would be one of the hardest reviews I have ever written. I could not imagine any words to capture The Goldfinch and certainly none to describe my feelings about it. Part of me also wanted to keep the book all to myself.
The Goldfinch, put simply, was utterly fantastic.
The Goldfinch tells the story of a boy from Manhattan named Theodore Decker. It begins in Amsterdam–when Theo is an adult–then commences on a twisted, beautiful tale of how he ended up there, starting with his mother’s death when he was in eighth grade. Theo’s journey through adolescence and the beginnings of adulthood is wonderfully crafted and seamless; the book is not short–it’s actually rather long–but never once was there a dull moment. I never felt inclined to skim over parts or wonder why Tartt included something. I was simply in Theo’s world.
Tartt writes immaculately, bringing Theo and every other character to life smoothly and beautifully with her knack for description and characterization. The Goldfinch flows easier than thoughts–as if the book wrote itself. Additionally, it can be hard to believe at times that Tartt isn’t, in fact, a boy because of how real Theo feels.
When I first heard about The Goldfinch, I was skeptical–it had acquired so much hype (being dubbed “book of the year” by some) I worried it could not live up to the rumors. But it did.
The Goldfinch is an exceptional read–beginning to end–and well-deserving of its praise.