• The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – Book Review

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is an incredible book about a man’s tragic journey to the art underworld and how it unravels his entire life. The book is based on a beautiful painting of a finch by Carel Fabritius. I was incredibly lucky to see it in real life.

Here is the not so short story…

It is quite a serendipitous tale… In October 2016, while I was living in the UK, I was visiting my mom in Bristol. During one of our days out, I found the book in a charity shop. They sold it for £1.00 which was a great find. I started reading it that very evening.

In the December of 2016, I was in Scotland staying with my dad and my mom came for a pre-Christmas visit. It was wonderful, we walked through the festive German Christmas market located right next to the museum and that’s when I saw the poster saying the painting was on show.

I dragged my mom through the whole museum until we found it. Seeing it is a memory I will treasure forever.

Are you wondering why I started the book in 2016 but have it listed as “currently reading” on this blog? Well shortly after that serendipitous day, I got a notice that my visa request had been denied and I had to move back to South Africa. Between all the stress of packing up my life and starting over, I put the book on my shelf and stopped reading.

One of my 2018 goals was to read more books and so I picked it up and tried again. And that is the story… So here is my review because I finally finished this nearly 800-page book.

The Review

As I mentioned above, the book is HUGE and can seem a little daunting but it is worth it! It follows the life of Theo Decker, starting as a young boy, he tragically loses his mother while viewing the famous painting.

Left motherless, he is sent to stay with his father and his life slowly shifts. He becomes a troubled teen and as he gets older, finds his way into the dark underworld of art theft and drugs. All because of this tiny but striking painting.

I had no trouble starting the book, it is very eventful, to begin with, but in the middle, it seems to drag on a little. During these bits, I seriously considered abandoning the book and moving on with life. Thankfully, I had a friend who was reading it and had gotten ahead of me. She encouraged me to push through it and I did.

Once I got through the middle part, I struggled to put the book down. It picks up and fast! The next thing I knew I had turned the final page and it was all over.

There is a reason Donna Tartt won a Pulitzer Prize for it. Her detail and character descriptions were so brilliant I felt like I knew each person personally. I read in their voices and understood their pain. My heart started to race and my skin prickled with anxiety during the tense moments.

Would I recommend you read this? Heck yeah! But maybe do so during the holidays.

With My Love,






No Comments

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.