Wednesday, January 8, 2014
I didn't officially join Bout of Books this week because time is fickle during the school year. Some weeks I seem to have less time than others. However, we had two extra days off of school due to the wind chill giving us -36 temps. So, unofficially, I've been reading and joining Bout of Books on Twitter. My goal was simply to read and review The Goldfinch, which I finished and am reviewing here.
I'm having trouble thinking how to review The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. First off, the book has been highly hyped and reviewed already. Second, it's almost 800 pages...that's a whole lot of book to fit here. Third, I'm not quite sure of my opinion of it. It was a good story, but I feel I need to ruminate on it a bit more to give a better description than "good."
The hardback book itself is beautiful. The cover is, ironically or maybe purposefully, a work of art. Not just the imitation of the artwork, but the somewhat rough texture of the paper. The actual hard cover is white with the author and title in a casual black font. And the pages are as smooth as (insert something smooth here - I guarantee these pages are smoother). So smooth, the pages caught me off guard the first time I opened the book. Even knowing ahead that the storyline dealt with art, I didn't get the true feeling of art the book itself physically displays until I was well into the story.
The story deals with the life of Theodore Decker as he struggles through growing up after a tragedy takes away his most important person and places him in the hands of another who will lead him into a life he would never have known otherwise. And yet that same tragedy is what eventually leads him to anyone else good in his life as the story unfolds.
I feel Theo is a likable character. His tragedy automatically makes you sympathize with him and later, if his adult actions tick you off, you still pity him based on his tragic experience. Not that pity is a good thing or something to be envied, but Theo is quite simply lost. Nothing he does seems to have any thought and he lacks any true guidance. Even as the story moves into his adult life, he carries on as he did as a messed up teen. However, I couldn't find myself disliking him because of his continued destructive actions. I remembered the Theo that started the story and hoped that he'd end up that person I knew he had the potential to be once again.
What else is there to say? Maybe some key topics? Explosion, death, foster care, traveling across country and out of the country, bad influence, alcoholic father, runaway, PTSD, secret love, unmeaningful love, drugs, violence, fighting, art, money...there's more. Like I said, there's more story in 771 pages than I could possibly put in one review. Suffice it to say I thought it was a good story and I always wanted to see where Theo and his treasure would end up.
Is The Goldfinch on you radar for 2014? Or have you already read it? What did you think?