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Monday Mini ~ The Goldfinch

MondayMini3Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.

Sometime in early August, my sister Donielle called me. She saw on my Goodreads page that I was reading The Goldfinch. I was not. It just showed me how little I had been using Goodreads. I started reading The Goldfinch at the beginning of the year when it was nominated for an Audie Award. I quickly figured out that it would take so long to listen to the audiobook that I wouldn’t be able to finish the rest of the category. I ended up switching categories and didn’t finish the audiobook. Donielle called looking for support. The book is long and her book club selection. So, I picked up my eReader and even recruited Michele to read along with us. I even started keeping my Goodreads shelves up to date. I’d hate to get guilted into reading another behemoth of a book again.

The Goldfinch by Donna TarttCover of The Goldfinch
Little, Brown and Company ~ October 22, 2013 ~ 784 pages

I did not anticipate how quickly and how greedily I would consume The Goldfinch. Each time I sat down to read the book I found that I was loathe to put it down. If I had had the luxury, I could have read it in a weekend. The story of Theo’s life from the hours before he lost his mother until the last page, Theo’s life was interesting to me. I didn’t much care where he was or what he was doing, I wanted to read about it. He rarely made the good choices, often taking the riskiest of paths available to him. With each poor decision my anxiety increased, but I loved him anyway. I suppose it’s the mother in me who is willing to unconditionally embrace the motherless child.

Reading the end of the book was a powerful experience for me. I stopped, highlighted, and reread so many passages. This alone makes this book noteworthy for me. I enjoyed the ride I took from page one and to then have it conclude in such a meaningful way was magical. *spoiler* My only complaint about the novel was the it was never revealed why Welty begged Theo to take the painting with him after the bomb blast. Others knew what Welty’s ring signified, so it seems as though there must be something. If there was, I completely missed it. *end spoiler* That being said and although I understand and even agree with some of the other criticisms I’ve read about this book, what The Goldfinch gave me as a reader made them easily forgivable.

That God for good, old fashioned guilt and the desire to help someone I love very much to get through a large book. Were it not for that, The Goldfinch would have remained unread.

6 Comments

  • At 2014.09.15 05:40, Sandy said:

    I have heard this over and over again about this book. I MIGHT read 30 pages a day in print, so I think I’d have to do it on audio, and I’ve been in a nest of long audios lately so what the hell. Still waiting for my library to get it, but I think I’m going to have to make time for it.

    • At 2014.09.15 07:13, Shannon @ River City Reading said:

      I’m so glad to see that you loved this book. I absolutely adored it, even though (like you said) I can see where all of the criticisms are coming from. I was totally absorbed, too, and read it in less than a week…it’s just one of those books I’m so willing to be forgiving toward because it was such an experience for me.

      • At 2014.09.15 09:07, Leah @ Books Speak Volumes said:

        Yay, I’m glad you loved this book! It was one of my favorites last year 🙂

        • At 2014.09.15 11:30, Laura said:

          I hear so much of “don’t read something because of peer pressure or guilt” but sometimes it works out! Thanks for the spoiler tag. I remain unspoiled 🙂

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          • At 2014.09.15 17:41, Ti said:

            The significance of the painting is that Welty, when he was a boy, cherished a copy of the painting. What he cherished was not even the original painting which made it even more ironic that Theo went through all of these hoops to protect it.

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            • At 2014.09.24 13:22, Rachel said:

              I haven’t read this book b/c I’m not sure I want to make the 800 page commitment. My friends who have read it either love it or hate it. No one has just “meh” feelings about it which is weird.

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