I picked up The Goldfinch in May in part because of a friend’s recommendation and in part because I had read and enjoyed Donna Tartt’s other novel, A Secret History, this past winter. Now, after having finished this book a few weeks ago I can safely say that while not without their respective flaws, both A Secret History and The Goldfinch are some of the most engaging, enjoyable books I’ve read this year.
Coming in at over 700 pages, The Goldfinch is an investment in terms of reading time but I think overall that length works for the novel’s benefit. Donna Tartt is a master at creating immersive believable worlds filled with interesting characters and I think she puts those 700 pages to good use. Reading the Goldfinch, I was reminded of the way I used to read other books growing up- in bursts, whenever I had the time, or up late, reading in bed. For a good majority of those 700+ pages, Donna Tartt had me hooked.
This novel is not without its flaws however. There are times where I felt like Donna Tartt’s prose tended toward the purple and I could feel her leaning a little too heavily on troupes or cliches (The protagonist’s fairly one dimensional, alcoholic, abusive father comes to mind). There also were definitely parts where my attention slackened, the plot slowed down, and I found myself checking out a little.
But then, faithfully, after stalling for a chapter or two, Donna Tartt would throw a wrench in, a twist in the narrative, and I would be pulled right back in again. For the last hundred or so pages of the novel, my attention never slackened until the final pages of the last chapter. My thoughts on that last chapter? Similar to my thoughts on the novel as a whole: Slightly conflicted-I felt like it was a little too “neat” of a conclusion for my taste- but overall positive. While this novel isn’t without it’s flaws, I think Donna Tartt manages to succeed at two of the primary goals of any writer: She creates an engaging, immersive, and believable world and she tells a damn good story.
My final verdict on the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Very Enjoyable. Would Recommend. #bookreview #donnatartt #thegoldfinch #bookreviews