All in the Small Details

Original publish date: 28 October 2014

The smallest thing can have the largest impact on your life. It can be the cause of endless “what-if” moments that bring you to question everything. This kind of thinking hunts Theo of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

A tale of tragic loss, secrecy, and superiority from knowledge of that precious secret. These small moments have a tendency to define us. Following Theo through his life after having taken the priceless Dutch painting “The Goldfinch,” we learn about the stresses and pressures, and their short and long term effects, that come from the secrets that our youth so commonly hold, and, in Theo’s case, that “The Goldfinch” fosters.

It was incredibly descriptive language that carries the reader through the tome of 770+ pages of narrative. The parallels drawn between surface and depth with “The Goldfinch” painting and the people in Theo’s life was well done and rather subtle in it’s delivery. Good character portrayals; I had a good sense of who they were, particularly Boris and Hobie (who reminded me of a combination of Hodor and Hagrid).

How things all worked out was far too convenient for my liking–it had more of a Hollywood ending that frustrates me because it’s nothing like the harsh realities of real life, which there was plenty of in the beginning of the novel. I felt the story was not established in time too well in the beginning when the catastrophic events occurred–case in point is that I thought that it was part of 9/11, but it seems to have taken place at a different time. I then just suspended a need to know when it took place.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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