Richardson GMP

Book review by Jessica

I just finished reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for my book club. It begins with Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, whose world is turned violently upside down. While on a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his mother, a terrorist bomb goes off, killing her and many other innocent bystanders. At the request of a dying old man, Theo makes off with a painting — the 1654 Carel Fabritius masterpiece, The Goldfinch. The old man also gives him a signet ring. After the accident, Theo is abandoned by his father and taken in by the family of a wealthy friend, where he struggles to fit in and find his way.

For the next 14 years, the painting becomes both Theo’s burden and the only connection to his lost mother. Theo moves between New York, Las Vegas and Amsterdam, encountering many eccentric characters along the way, from the rogue Russian teenager Boris, to the mysterious Pippa, plus assorted lowlifes, con men, and Park Avenue preppies and recluses. My favorite character in the novel is Hobie, a cultured and charming furniture restorer, who becomes a stand-in father and mentor to Theo. After delivering the signet ring to Hobie (the former business partner of the old man who died in the bombing), Theo is provided with a safe haven as he tries to come to terms with his loss and the toxic relationship he has with his father.
Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable and interesting read. I like Tartt’s writing style (often compared to Dickens) and the book was full of suspense and intrigue. On the downside though, I think it was too long and I found myself skimming through the last few chapters. I also felt that the lead character was overly frustrating at times. Theo has a strong sense of decency, but he is also flawed, selfish and engages in a lot of self-destructive behavior and substance abuse.

Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Goldfinch, the judges praising it as a, “a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.” This is her third novel, and Tartt takes great care in researching and writing her books, with more than a decade between each. Her first book was The Little Friend and the second The Secret History.

I would recommend The Goldfinch, but be prepared for a huge time commitment, 864 pages to be exact!




Dwight Jefferson, CIMA®
Senior Vice President
Portfolio Manager
Tel.: 604.640.0555 • Email

Tyler Steele, CFA
Senior Vice President
Portfolio Manager
Tel.: 604.640.0554 • Email

Paul Rietkerk, CIM, FMA
Associate Portfolio Manager
Tel.: 604.640.0562 • Email

Neil Kumar
Associate Investment Advisor
Tel.: 604.640.0406 • Email

Wendy Lloyd
Tel.: 604.640.0556 • Email

Jessica Dewey
Tel.: 604.640.0405 • Email

Brenda Geib, BA
Tel.: 604.640.0559 • Email

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