The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While it took a long time to build up to the quicker paced action of Theo's life, I really enjoyed the younger years and the poetic, dreamy way in which Donna Tartt describes his childhood, and the events that lead to Theo no longer being a child.
I was not impressed with nor did I even really like Theo's character. While he seemed perfectly suited to the plot and the ultimate aims of the book, he was weak and unmoored and had no grit or perspective. While it's qualities like that that make him the kind of person I can hardly stand, I believe that kind of character was needed to carry out the story. And he, like the other characters, were complicated enough to be totally real and really, just fabulous.
The alternating depictions of the lovely verses the dreary and grim are what really kept the story moving for me--that and a couple of surprising plot turns. But being centered around the painting of the goldfinch is what gave the book significance, especially as it examines art and what art can do--which was largely and successfully the purpose of the book. Those were probably my favorite parts--the ones that had the most emotional force and beauty.