In her Pulitzer Prize awarded novel, Donna Tartt tells the story of Theo Decker. A 13-year-old boy that miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. He is abandoned by his father and taken in by a wealthy friend. Alone and tormented by the loss of his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting. Through his love of this painting he is driven into the underworld of art.
If Theo Decker had known what was going to happen to the Metropolitan Museum of art that day he wouldn’t have stepped foot in the building. Strolling in with his mother, their goal was to view an exhibition of Dutch masterpieces that contained a favorite of his mothers: “The Goldfinch.”
After arriving, Theo, becomes infatuated with a red-headed girl and wanders away from his mother. A bomb is set off in the museum and it kills several visitors including his mother. Theo hobbles out of the debris and rubble and he carries with him a small treasure: his mothers favorite painting, “The Goldfinch.”
As a young adult Theo begins to run in dangerous circles. He hides “The Goldfinch,” afraid of being accused of theft. He also sells fake antiques in order to make a living. However, these crimes begin to catch up with him and he is racked with guilt. When a friend of his reveals that he had stolen the painting while they were in high school and that for the past few years it had been traded through the underground art exchange, Theo goes on a mission to retrieve his painting.
Theo faces many demons throughout this book. His deadbeat father, drugs, alcohol, unrequited love, but through it all he looks to “The Goldfinch” for hope.
“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….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.” -Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review