The Goldfinch Book Review + Giveaway!
As I recently crossed the threshold from college student to working adult, I found myself with a lot more time on my hands. I think it's important to note that for most of my life I didn't have a lot of time to read for pleasure, as I barely was able to finish the books assigned in school. So realizing that I now had several hours a day free, I began to read again, but this time for myself. I read 38 books in 2016 and I'm on track to read 52 books in 2017!
I found The Goldfinch through a website that had a list of the top rated arts books. It mostly appealed to me because of the mention of art theft. I may have been addicted to the show White Collar. I was super intimidated when I realized the book was nearly 800 pages. This was certainly the longest book I've ever read, but by the end, I found myself wishing it would never end. "That said, don’t drop it on your foot." - Stephen King
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a literary work of excellence. The winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize and #1 national bestseller, Tartt creates a reality so deep for her readers to dive into, that it frequently felt like I was living alongside the characters.
Throughout the story, we follow the life of Theodore Decker, a 13 year old boy living in New York City. As a fictitious terrorist explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art claims many victims, including Theo's mother, Audrey, he is suddenly thrust into a world of uncertainty. A newly found orphan, Theo sneakily obtains a painting under these disastrous circumstances.
The very real painting titled The Goldfinch by Carl Fabritius, was one of a only a handful of paintings that remained after a gunpowder explosion killed Fabritius and wiped out most of his works (an eloquent parallel to the novel). A student of Rembrandt, Fabritius had exceptional abilities to use lighting and shadow to contrast his paintings. Tartt does a beautiful job of weaving her fictional narrative around the complexities of this painting and it's historical ties.
Dodging in and out of Theo's life, tying past and present together, this work of art marries the complete loss and then regained perspective that we patiently follow. With no where else to turn, Theo is taken in by the family of one of his childhood friends, the affluent Barbour family.
Amongst Theo's attempts to distract himself from loss, he decides to investigate a found object from the explosion. A ring leads him to the doors of Hobart and Blackwell, a tiny antique store in the Greenwich Village. It is here where we meet the character Hobart (lovingly referred to as Hobie). Hobie, a kindly old man takes Theo under his wing and begins to teach him the ways of furniture restoration.
Just as an tender bond begins to form between Hobie and Theo, Theo is torn from his home with the Barbours and whisked away to Las Vegas by his Father. An alcoholic and gambling addict, Theo's dad isn't an ideal guardian. Swirling resentment pushes Theo to seek out questionable friend choices.
As time passes, Theo eventually reunites with Hobie in New York. Now an adult, we are able to see the lasting effects that trauma has left him with. Living a borderline reckless life, Theo teeters in the balance to hang on to the relationships he's made and keep his secrets hidden.
The range of emotion that Donna Tartt evokes could have only come from a novel that truly understands what it means to live a catastrophic life. Her bewitching narrative abilities are a rare gem in a world filled with trashy Buzzfeed articles. If you want to be inspired by a real work of art, this story is for you.
++ GIVEAWAY ++
Coffee and Charcoal is giving away 1 paperback copy of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt!
In order to enter this giveaway, you must complete the following:
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- Comment on this post telling us whether you prefer coffee or tea and the current book you're reading! (Make sure to also include your Instagram handle so we can make sure you qualify to win!)
- Giveaway is open from January 23rd, 2017 at 8pm EST and will close on January 31st, 2017 at 12am EST.
- Winner must have completed all three rules for a valid entry.
- We will notify the winner via email. If you do not respond within 24 hours, we will choose someone else.
- You must live within the contiguous United States to win - Sorry shipping can be pricey.
- This giveaway was not sponsored by any one other than the Coffee and Charcoal team.
- For questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.
Good luck everyone!