"A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help."

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch is what I wanted to read when I read The Secret History. My younger daughter said I could read her copy (we have two copies of The Secret History which is a bit excessive) as long as I didn’t bend the spine or fold pages over (she gave be a bookmark to use). Hmmm. Well, that meant highlighting any interesting bits was also out which left me just picking this one.

Some of my observations:

  • It was far easier to read than The Secret History despite being longer.
  • The Russian characters are interesting given both the length of the novel and the (if we are honest, excessive) detailed description used. I.e. a nod to a novel by Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky; And also, much more obviously, as my daughter pointed out and I missed, the chapter called The Idiot.
  • Owing to the length and the sheer impossibility of finding long periods of uninterrupted reading time it took me quite a few weeks to finish it. By then I’d completely forgotten the first chapter and so that significance was lost on me.
  • The plot is great. Can’t really say more without spoilers. But it’s ten out of ten from me.
  • The book is all about the ending. I am undecided though as to whether it’s a really great story with a mediocre ending tacked on or whether it is actually a really profound ending and just somewhat lost on me (always entirely possible). I’m so undecided I read the ending twice. It has not helped me decide - nor has reading other people’s opinions.