The Persians say, a good book is like a garden you carry in your pocket. I just finished a book like that, a book that has been so highly acclaimed that I started reading it sceptically. Whenever something has been talked up, I expect it to not bear up to the enormous expectations created. But “The Goldfinch”, the book that took Donna Tartt ten years to write, did not disappoint.(After finishing it, I am not at all surprised it took a decade to write.)
It is her unique combination of details (which make everything seem more real), in depth research (she must have spent months or years with art historians and antiquity experts) and unerring linguistic mastery to describe feelings and situations. While reading the book, I frequently stopped to jot down the way she had formulated things, something that happens very rarely with me.
Ten reasons that should convince you to spend reading time with “The Goldfinch”
- Donna Tartt describes adaquaetly what it is like to start noticing that you miss a deeper connection with some people.
But those sparkling blue shallows – so enticing at first glance – had not yet graded into depths, so that sometimes I got the disconcerting sensation of wading around in knee-high waters hoping to step into a drop-off, a place deep enough to swim.
2. She envisions what comes after death in the most beautful way.
But maybe that’s what’s waiting for us at the end of the journey, a majesty unimaginable until the very moment we find ourselves walking through the doors of it, what we find ourselves gazing at in astonishment when God finally takes His hand off our eyes and says: Look!
3. She elegantly phrases the fugacity of superficial beauty.
[He said] The pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty had to be wedded to something more meaninful.
4. Even the quotes she picks from others to open her chapters are eye-opening true.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves. (F. de la Roucefoucauld)
5. She touches the reader with her relatable protagonist and expresses his deepest pain gracefully.
When I lost her, I lost sight of any landmark that might have led me someplace happier, to some more populated or congengial life.
For in the deepest, most unshakeable part of myself, reason was useless. She was the missing kingdom,the unbruised part of myself I’d lost with my mother.
6. She provides you with excellent compliments to use for the next person you like.
Everything about her was a snowstorm of fascination.
7. She portrays her heros in a way that you see them right before your inner eye because you know someone who is just that person.
Everything came alive in her company; she cast a charmed theatrical light about her so that to see anything through her eyes was to see it in brighter colors than ordinary.
My standoffish dad had hated this about her – her tendency to engage in conversation with waitresses, doormen, the wheezy old gus at the dry cleaner’s.
8. She gives you orientation for life.
That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway; wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open.
9. She has the awareness for history worked out and she knows how to convey it to you.
It is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. […] And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire and sought them when they were lost and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.
Do yourself a favor and read “The Goldfinch”!