Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Length: 784 pages
About: Teenager involved with missing
Style: 1st person
Where: New York, US
When: Present day
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 his 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 the underworld of
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, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
Things would have turned out better if she lived. As it was, she died when I
was a kid; and though everything that’s happened to me since then is thoroughly my own fault, still when I lost sight of any landmark that might have led me someplace happier, to some more populated
Plot and character and fine prose can take you far – but a novel this good makes you
want to go even further.
Kamila Shamise, The Guardian 17th October
Not so good:
Sadly it's not enough to save this great, mystifying mess of a novel. I was intrigued to
discover that Fabritius's painting really does exist – not, to be fair, that this matters a jot to the novel. But if even I, no art historian, vaguely remember that goldfinches were often icons of
the messiah, then how can Tartt have Theo wonder (again and again) what the artist meant when he painted it:
Julie Myerson, The Observer, 19th October
Click here for full review
About the author
Born December 23rd 1963 in Greenwood, but she grew up in Grenada,
Mississipi. She published her first poem in the Mississippi Literary Review. While Tartt was a student at
the University of Mississippi in 1981, Willie Morris, then a writer-in-residence at the university, read one of her stories and gave her a recommendation for a graduate short-story course taught by
fellow writer-in-residence Barry Hannah.