Donna Tartt’s third novel in twenty-one years, The Goldfinch (2013), is 771 pages of an “exuberantly plotted triumph,” according to NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan.
In the aftermath of a terror attack that claimed the life of his mother, 13-year-old Theo Decker finds himself in New York City, living with a family friend. He is reeling from the events that brought him to Park Avenue, and he clings to a rescued piece of art that will lead him into a dangerous underworld.
This long-awaited novel follows the protagonist for ten years into adulthood as he navigates his life in the city. The book is named for an actual painting of the late Dutch artist Carel Fabritius, although events in this novel with regard to the fate of the work of art are fictional.
Stephen King summed up his feelings regarding the length of this book as follows, in The New York Times’ Sunday Book Review: “It’s my happy duty to tell you that in this case, all doubts and suspicions can be laid aside. ‘The Goldfinch’ is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind. I read it with that mixture of terror and excitement I feel watching a pitcher carry a no-hitter into the late innings. You keep waiting for the wheels to fall off, but in the case of ‘The Goldfinch,’ they never do.