Book Impressions: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On Goodreads, I give 5 stars out of 5 to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Humankind’s accomplishments (art, sculptures, architecture, stories) are our history, our life. Shouldn’t our children be more so? This story shows us that art (in all forms) is valuable, sometimes priceless. Theo’s life is burdened by this fact. Theo’s life should be priceless, but it actually has a very high price.

The Goldfinch is a train wreck of the human condition. Theo’s post traumatic stress syndrome and his enigmatic relationship with Boris propel him into a messed up existence that makes him an infuriating character. As a reader, I want him to act responsibly, be responsible, tell the truth, show some guts. Thank goodness for Hobie, the anchor and lighthouse.

No thing made by humans is worth a human life or worth human suffering. But this is our way. This is why we have gilded museums full of human accomplishments.

Pay special attention to the painting of this innocent bird. Go online and take a closer look. Look closely at the chain. Now take a look at Theo Decker’s invisible chain. These chains are both thin and no doubt easily broken if the chained wretches only believed in themselves and then flew away.

I love this book because it is raw and harsh, beautiful and hopeful.


Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Hard to put things right. You don’t often get that chance. Sometimes all you can do is not get caught.”

“To understand the world at all, sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole.”

“Only——if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own. doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things——beautiful things——that they connect you to some larger beauty? Those first images that crack your heart wide open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to recapture, in one way or another?”

“Because, here’s the truth: life is catastrophe. The basic fact of existence——of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do——is catastrophe.”


What do you think?

My Goodreads

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