Goldfinch, TheTartt, Donna
A bomb in an art gallery alters the course of thirteen year old Theo Decker's life. Not only does he lose his mother on that fateful day but he is captivated by a painting and a girl caught up in the tragedy, whose stories become entwined with his own. He becomes a young man adrift, susceptible to substance abuse, a survivor doing his best with the hand he has been dealt.
As meticulously executed as Carel Fabritius' eponymous painting, this is an epic story of America, of love and loss, right and wrong, of art and beauty and making one's way in the world, recounted by Theo himself.
[This book is issued for two months. For groups on a full programme, it counts as two books.]
Comments from GroupsMost members of the group enjoyed the first part of the book, but found it over-long. Some found the main protagonist a not particularly likeable character, so had little sympathy for his troubles. Auckland 105 This is an amazing book - many levels of thought provoking writing. Fairly turgid descriptions - some of our group found them a bit much and certainly not an easy read. However all agreed it was worthwhile effort, and the beginning certainly drew the reader in to continue. The discussion was lively - a theme of 'unresolved grief', a close comparison to Dickens in highlighting the 'low life' of today as he did for his time. Napier 023 Only four of us managed to finish it - but we all enjoyed it, including those that hadn't quite finished. Some sections drag on, but there were a lot of interesting twists in the story. Dunedin 092 The discussion went well - most enjoyed the book and thought it was well written, however the size put some off! Being heavy, it closed easily and you lost your place! So the criticisms were practical considerations rather than anything to do with the content or quality of writing... Marton 001 We all loved this book. Everybody agreed that it was a long read and we definitely needed the two months to do it justice. Everyone cared about Theo, and wanted him to have a chance of a fulfilling life. Auckland 160
We all agreed that although this book is very long it is an amazing read and has become some of our members' favourite book. It is a long read but we all disappeared into the story. Pity fhe film was so bad.
A few of us really enjoyed this book, but some failed to finish it, thinking it was too long, too detailed, the characters were not likeable, too American! Those who did enjoy it loved the density of detail, the contrasting characters, the very competent writing, and the amazing ability of the writer in the construction of such an intricate plot! Some established early empathy with Theo and Hobie too, and found the whole very engaging. Only for committed readers.