Last night I powered through the rest of “Three Graves Full,” and didn’t love it. I confess to skimming it — it just didn’t grab me, but I can’t completely quit reading a book. I feel too guilty and like to give authors a chance. I’ve read a lot of books that took me halfway through to be utterly consumed, and then been grateful I stuck with it. This book wasn’t one of them, but that’s OK.
Next up is “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt.
I’ve loved Donna Tartt since her first book, “The Secret History,” which I read while working briefly in a bookstore on a winter break from college. One of the employees recommended it to me, and I was absolutely, utterly hooked immediately. It helped that I had just taken some Classics classes and felt pretty pleased with myself.
My sister also read it and loved it.
So it was sad to have to wait several years for her second book, “The Little Friend.” It was also amazing, and there is a scene in a watertower that is so vivid it still sticks with me. I love that.
I’ve been forcing myself to finish my stack of library books before I read her latest, “The Goldfinch.” I even bought it — which is very rare for me. But she’s an author I like to see on my bookshelf. And by that I mean the wall of books in our basement. Swoon.
Here’s what Booklist says about “The Goldfinch”:
Cataclysmic loss and rupture with criminal intent visited upon the young have been Tartt’s epic subjects as she creates one captivating and capacious novel a decade, from The Secret History (1992) to The Little Friend (2002) to this feverish saga. In the wake of his nefarious father’s abandonment, Theo, a smart, 13-year-old Manhattanite, is extremely close to his vivacious mother—until an act of terrorism catapults him into a dizzying world bereft of gravity, certainty, or love. Tartt writes from Theo’s point of view with fierce exactitude and magnetic emotion as, stricken with grief and post-traumatic stress syndrome, he seeks sanctuary with a troubled Park Avenue family and, in Greenwich Village, with a kind and gifted restorer of antique furniture. Fate then delivers Theo to utterly alien Las Vegas, where he meets young outlaw Boris. As Theo becomes a complexly damaged adult, Tartt, in a boa constrictor-like plot, pulls him deeply into the shadow lands of art, lashed to seventeenth-century Dutch artist Carel Fabritius and his exquisite if sinister painting, The Goldfinch. Drenched in sensory detail, infused with Theo’s churning thoughts and feelings, sparked by nimble dialogue, and propelled by escalating cosmic angst and thriller action, Tartt’s trenchant, defiant, engrossing, and rocketing novel conducts a grand inquiry into the mystery and sorrow of survival, beauty and obsession, and the promise of art. –Donna Seaman
If you haven’t read her books, you should. You should go out right now and get “The Secret History.” I promise.