Noted on just about every recent best book list is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Tartt, an American author born in Mississippi, is known as a literary star who very seldom publishes a new book. The Goldfinch is her third book since 1982 and the library also owns her other two, The Secret History and The Little Friend.
The Goldfinch centers on Theo, a thirteen-year-old boy who is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York when a terrorist attack kills his mother. During his escape from the destruction, the panicked boy takes a painting—a small Dutch painting of a bird. From here Theo starts a journey that will cover fourteen years. He moves in with the wealthy family of a school friend and then lives a totally different life when his father takes him to Las Vegas. As an adult Theo moves back to New York to work in a dusty antiques shop and becomes involved with the underworld, which takes him to Europe. Living in these different locales Theo hides his only connection to his past—the goldfinch painting.
Theo’s grief at losing his mother motivates each step of the way in this long, but engrossing novel. Tartt is admired for her labyrinth-like plot and her sharp dialog. The Goldfinch is not for every reader, but the readers who take the time will be rewarded by this very unusual and original book.