When I tell you about The Goldfinch, you will probably wonder if we booksellers work on commission, earning a gold star for every book we put into a reader's hands. The simple truth is that it's a phenomenal novel; all of my previous "favorite books of all time" are now just a little less so because this one has skyrocketed into my top five; that I want you to read it so that when I tell you how each sentence is a carefully crafted, evocative, transformative beacon of storytelling, you will know what I mean. It's not only about the death of the narrator's mother and his subsequent fascination with a stolen painting, but about love, death, obsession, home, and friendship. I hope you savor every shining detail.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History and The Little Friend) is a writer who takes at least 10 years to write each of her books. The Goldfinch centers around 13-year-old Theo, a tragic event, and a historical painting that pulls Theo into the underworld of art. The research that went into this novel must have been extraordinary, and yet it is unnoticeable; the story is so infused with detail and feeling that you lose yourself in the characters and their experience. This is a novel about the orchestration of where we end up versus where we belong—the story of fate versus destiny. It is a work of art, one that must be personally viewed to be experienced. Read it.
A young New Yorker grieving his mother's death is pulled into a gritty underworld of art and wealth in this "extraordinary" and beloved Pulitzer Prize winner that "connects with the heart as well as the mind" (Stephen King, New York Times Book Review).
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love -- and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention. From the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld, this "soaring masterpiece" examines the devastating impact of grief and the ruthless machinations of fate (Ron Charles, Washington Post).
About the Author
Donna Tartt is the author of The Goldfinch, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her novels The Secret History and The Little Friend have been translated into 30 languages. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College.
"A soaring masterpiece."
—Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Dazzling....A glorious, Dickensian novel, a novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading."
—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."—Stephen King, New York Times Book Review
is a book about art in all its forms, and right from the start we remember why we enjoy Donna Tartt so much: the humming plot and elegant prose; the living, breathing characters; the perfectly captured settings....Joy and sorrow exist in the same breath, and by the end The Goldfinch
hangs in our stolen heart."—Vanity Fair
"Drenched in sensory detail, infused with Theo's churning thoughts and feelings, sparked by nimble dialogue, and propelled by escalating cosmic angst and thriller action, Tartt's trenchant, defiant, engrossing, and rocketing novel conducts a grand inquiry into the mystery and sorrow of survival, beauty and obsession, and the promise of art."
—Booklist (starred review)
"There's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic...The Goldfinch
is a pleasure to read."—Publishers Weekly
"A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art....Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters....A standout--and well-worth the wait."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"It's a classic...If you haven't read it, read it. If you have, read it again."
—Andy Cohen, Today Show
"Where to begin? Simply put, I'm indescribably jealous of any reader picking up this masterpiece for the first time. And once they do, they will long remember the heartrending character of Theo Decker and his unthinkable journey."
—Sarah Jessica Parker for Goop