Review: "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt

  • Posted on: 5 June 2016
  • By: TedG

Reported by Adrian Wydeven

Four of us met to discuss The Goldfinch on May 5; additionally, one person sent some notes before the meeting and one sent some after. We were lucky to have Bill Bauer join us because he was the only one in attendance who had finished the book. John and I had completed only about 1/3 of the book and Chuck had not read it. Art had finished the book and through his notes (sent before the meeting) was our fifth member.

The book, written by Donna Tartt, follows the fortunes of a 13-year-old boy after his mother is tragically killed in an explosion. The book is long (771 pages). Tartt has an interesting writing style that includes a lot of detailed descriptions. She does a great job of developing interesting and complex characters. Bill explained that it took a while to get into Tartt’s writing style but once you get into it and follow it, the story becomes very engaging. John and I were struggling with the book, though John eventually did finish after the meeting and enjoyed the book. Art also really enjoyed the book. Jack wrote, “I liked it a lot. While most of the characters were flawed and sometimes tragic, I liked the grit and loyalty the main characters demonstrated. And I particularly enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the antique business, the setting in New York, and the quality of the writing. I think Ms. Tartt’s writing was extraordinary, maybe the [best] I’ve read since joining the book group.”

This seemed to be one of those books that required a little discipline to finish, but for those who did, it was rewarding.

Our average scores for the book (on a scale of 1 to 5) were as follows: 4.3 for Interest, and 4.4 for Readability. Four of us (including Art and Jack) would read another book by this author, while Adrian said maybe.