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The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

December 27, 2013

Not having read either of Donna Tartt’s previous novels, I had no idea what to expect when I started in on The Goldfinch. It turns out I chose just the right time to read it–winter break, when I have endless hours and that sort of languid energy for reading a long, immersive novel. Tartt’s book is both. I was sucked in pretty much from the beginning, and even though there were long passages that also felt too long to me, I just skimmed and got to something I found more interesting.

I suppose I was surprised by how readable, how much of a page-turner the book was. When I thought of Tartt before, I thought of the sort of cult-following she has. I guess I did have expectations but they didn’t become explicit until the book defied them. I thought the novel would be more difficult, something peculiar enough to awaken that brand of loyalty. Instead, I often felt like I was reading a young adult novel, engaging, poignant, but also smooth, easy to read.

Because the novel took me in immediately, and because the characters and the story are so engaging, I don’t want to take a critical perspective on this book. It’s a lovely experience to enter another world. It’s one of the main reasons I read.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2013 5:14 pm

    Thanks Karen for your good words about The Goldfinch…..I am looking forward to it when I he home again. I recently read The Catton…..found it engrossing and a fun read filled with twists and turns….a bit LNG in places, but I powered through all 800 plus ( too long by my usual standards) and was glad when the time came to wind it all down.
    Have you read Mink River? I also just finished Orphan Train which Iliked very much. Marion

  2. December 28, 2013 8:53 am

    Thanks, Marion.I’m on the long, library list for The Luminaries! I’ll have to look for the others you recommend because I haven’t read them…

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