A teenage boy’s mother dies when they are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a terrorist bomb goes off. The boy ends up taking “The Goldfinch” – a priceless 17th century painting- in his dream like escape from the museum. The novel follows Theo for the next few decades and his adventures that are always haunted by his possession and obsession with the Goldfinch.
A top novel on most fiction lists for 2013. It is quite a hefty one, 900 pgs + on Overdrive, but I enjoyed it and have been pretty wrapped up in it all week long with my week long cold. It is completely amazing to me the talent someone has to come up with a story like this out of thin air and to write it in such an eloquent way.
I love the last paragraph:
“That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”
PJH rating: ***1/2