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This is a finely-wrought Dickensian bildungsroman that follows the life of Theodore Decker and his tangled link to a seventeenth-century painting. Humor, peculiarity, terror, aching existential dread-- Tartt elicits it all in winding, imagistic prose. (Her writing almost tangibly glows-- the first time I read this, I thought, for the first several pages, that it must be a fantasy novel because of the pure magic with which she world-builds.) Tartt has a striking way of combining action-laced plot with subtle and poignant meditations on art, family, and loss. The one & only book that has my whole heart and will have it always.
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).