The Goldfinch – a review

By Donna Tartt
Year: 2013
Purchase: Buy Now!

I am a very slow reader, so a novel that clocks in at nearly 800 pages is no small undertaking for me. But having just finished Donna Tartt’s third novel, The Goldfinch, I can absolutely say it was worth the effort. And worth the wait: Tartt, one of my favorite authors, only writes a book  every decade or so. Her first novel, The Secret History, is in my opinion, a masterpiece.  The story of The Goldfinch begins with an explosion at New York’s Metropolitan Museum that kills narrator Theodore Decker’s beloved mother and results in his unlikely possession of a Dutch masterwork. The painting becomes the secret at the center of Theo’s life.

The novel’s strength lies in its flawed, but lovable narrator, its many other eccentric, memorable characters, its droll perspective of New York society, and a story that takes the reader on a suspenseful journey from the city to Las Vegas to Amsterdam and back. There is so much depth to Tartt’s beautiful writing, which runs the gamut of unrequited love, loss, God, and the meaning of art. The story has been called “Dickensian” and has been compared to Great Expectations. I actually think it has more in common with Oliver Twist. But it is a long one, and a bit slow in places. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it, and did not want it to end.


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Author: Jennifer Hamlet

Jennifer is the curator for Ridgewood and would love any feedback or suggestions you may have.


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