While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years.
Phewwwww, finally I have read this book. All 864 pages of it. I actually finished reading this book back in December 2016 and have only got round to writing my review now... shocking I know, but to be perfectly honest, I was drained after reading this book. Not because I didn't enjoy it (far from it) but because it was the longest book I've ever read. Seriously. But I'm not complaining. At times, I did not want this book to ever end. Tartt is one of my favourite writers; she has the incredibly ability to make the mundane seem fascinating and make the small details of everyday life seem like a never-ending adventure. I first fell in love with Tartt's style of writing with The Secret History (read my review here), and the Goldfinch did not disappoint.
The book begins with our protagonist, Theo Decker, surviving a terrorist bombing in a New York museum, which sadly kills his mother. In the midst of the bomb chaos, Theo decides to steal/save a world famous painting that his mother loved, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius. The rest of the novel follows his turbulent adventure with this painting and how it essentially takes over his life. We follow Theo through the difficulty/agony he faces regarding how and when he should return the painting, and the type of punishment he might face. Theo quickly takes a downward spiral into the criminal art underworld . . .
So, I mean, how do you go about reviewing a book that took you four weeks to read? It's difficult because on one hand, I really loved this book and find myself still thinking about it a good four months after reading. But on the other hand, and I'm going to try and say this in the nicest way possible, nothing realllllly happens in this book. I mean, of course things happen but I do think it could have been condensed into 400 pages, instead of 800... although I do feel bad typing this because I loved this book nonetheless. It's hard to talk about this book without revealing spoilers but I really enjoyed reading about Theo Decker and his turbulent life. I would recommend this book for those who fancy a challenge, as it's not an easy read. Prepared to be bored in section, but enthralled in others. The ending was slightly too philosophical for my liking but I still regard this a triumphant novel by Tartt.
Have you read The Goldfinch? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!