American Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic, Michiko Kakutani, describes the book The Goldfinch as, “A glorious novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt’s remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole.” In Donna Tartt’s fiction novel, a terrorist bomb explodes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which flips protagonist Theo Decker’s whole life around. The surprise attack kills Theo’s mother, and influences the disoriented, thirteen-year old New Yorker to take the 1684 masterpiece, The Goldfinch. This piece remains as Theo’s only connection to his mother, which author Tartt also explores through his pain of loss and forced maturity. Aside from Theo’s developing passion for the art world, Tartt’s ear for words and extraordinary tale paints a vivid picture for her readers.
Halfway into soaring all 771 pages of The Goldfinch, I wondered about Tartt’s stylistic technique to always grasp my short attention span for a long story. Well first, Tartt spent eleven years to perfect her work before it was finally published, which only shows the author’s dedication. But specifically, I realized that it’s the author’s gift for storytelling that engages her readers, as she communicates each chapter with fluidity. Tartt sugarcoats her best-seller with rich descriptions from time to time again like when Theo navigates Child Protection Services, lives with Park Avenue elegance, and resorts to trouble with his sketchy, hilarious, and alcoholic friend, Boris. Throughout the entirety of the novel, Donna Tartt fills her tale with beautiful language, a fresh prose, and comedy regardless of Theo’s social conditions. The Goldfinch well deserves its contribution and classification as a Dickensian novel.
While Theo’s history unfolds as a series of unfortunate events, Tartt’s work becomes a fascinating page-turner. Through Theo’s recounts of his personal experiences, we learn of Mr. Decker, Theo’s alcoholic and abusive father that does not fulfill his role as a parent. The young protagonist needs family support in order to identify himself as seem when he says, “We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are” (Tartt 761). The lack of family presence in Theo’s life causes him to internally struggle, which also made me to feel like a bottomless pit that yearns for comfort and closure. While reading any literary work, It’s important to acknowledge the author’s talents. Tartt verifies her strength as a writer through her ability to evoke sympathy amongst readers like myself. Many writers across the country respect the author’s novel and even call her “a literary star.”
Overall, The Goldfinch successfully draws readers to its story due to Donna Tartt’s mastery skills for storytelling. Through a reading exposure of love, the value of art, and struggles with personal reflections, the book teaches readers a number of crucial truths. Appealing to readers of all interests, this unforgettable novel has already sold three million copies and currently is available online at Barnes and Noble.