This is a bit of a cheat post, because I actually finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch around two days ago. I am aware that I am incredibly late to the Goldfinch review party as it has been out since 2013. I debated over whether to review it, and in the end decided it was rather a momentous book to have read and then not spoken about! So, here goes!
**** – I did not know whether to give this book three or four stars, but settled for four. After all, it is, as expected, an extremely well-written novel. However, one of my major problems was the overall flow. I read the first four hundred pages or so within a couple of days, but then struggled through the next few hundred for the next week, and then raced through the last two hundred or so in a day and a half! I don’t know whether that was due to my mood, but I have to note that, in my opinion, unlike The Secret History, this is not a novel you can wolf down, but rather one to read more slowly to savour its message and its prose.
I also felt that Pippa was pretty underdeveloped as a character, even allowing for the limited characterisation due to the novel being told in its entirety from Theo’s point of view. You would think someone who is an infatuated as Theo would know more about Pippa personality-wise, but maybe that was part of Tartt’s point and Theo’s love was supposed to be painted as more of an obsession than actual love. Either way, characters like Kitsey, Pippa and even Hobie felt obnoxiously sidelined in several parts of the book. Overall though, The Goldfinch is definitely worth reading, no matter how late to the party you may be!
Favourite Quote: ‘More than anything I was relieved that in my unfamiliar babbling-and-wanting-to-talk state I’d stopped myself from blurting the thing on the edge of my tongue, the thing I’d never said, even though it was something we both knew well enough without me saying it out loud to him in the street – which was, of course, I love you.’
Favourite Character: My initial instinct for this was Boris, but I don’t know if he’s such much of a favourite character rather than the one I kept hoping would make a reappearance.