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The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Author(s): Donna Tartt

Location(s): Las Vegas, New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern



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Told as a retrospective through the eyes of 13 year old Theo Decker based in Manhattan, where he lives with his mother. His father – a seemingly alcoholic degenerate – walked out on them the previous year. On a trip to the Met he sees a painting, The Goldfinch, by Carel Fabritius, his mother’s favourite painting. There, Theo’s eye is caught by a young red head, accompanied by a much older man… and then a terrorist bomb strikes, killing his mother.

The old man Welty, gives him a ring in the ruins and an enigmatic message and it is as though it all points to the painting, which he takes. These all come to influence his future life. As he is now orphaned he moves into the household of his schoolfriend Theo Barber, where life, apart from his PTSD following the bombing, finds a rhythm. He makes a new friend, Boris who become embroiled in the hidden story of The Goldfinch. Life moves along until Theo’s father turns up out of the blue with his new girlfriend, in debt and caught up in a web of gangster dealings.

The Goldfinch, Theo’s security and talisman, is in fact no longer in his possession, due to Boris’s actions and Boris devotes himself to finding it again. A massive hunt for the painting ends up in a shooting and Theo is left to ponder over his life to date.


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Lead Review

A magnificent tome that is gaining split reviews. Loved parts of it, for the observation, the concept of the story …

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