“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”
Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’ve spent today’s afternoon cleaning my room, because it really was a total mess and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Anyway, I’m glad that I finally read The Goldfinch this year, because everyone keeps praising this book, and I wanted to know if it’s worth hype or not, and it was definitely worth it. Without further ado, let’s review this book!
This book follows the story of a thirteen year old boy named Theo, who lives in New York with his mother. She’s passionate about art, especially about a painting called The Goldfinch. His father is an alcoholic, and he left them a long time ago. One day, Theo goes to a museum along with his mother to see that painting, but unfortunately, something terrible happens, which makes his mother passes away. Before Theo gets out of the museum while everyone is terrified and everything is shattered, he takes away The Goldfinch painting with him and hides it. However, this painting will affect Theo’s life tremendously in a way he has never expected.
I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read this book! I’ve heard mixed opinions about it, but I finally decided to give it a shot and it definitely exceeded my expectations. The writing style is so detailed and very slow paced, but in a way that makes you feel attached to the main character from the first pages. The story is told through Theo’s perspective at the beginning when he’s thirteen years old until his late twenties. So, when I started reading the first couple of pages I felt like I was inside Theo’s head because of the way he describes his life and analyzes every situation. He has a very interesting and curious perspective on the world, and I think that’s what makes this book so absorbing. And my favorite thing is that Theo sounds exactly like his age, unlike some books which sometimes the main character in them sound more mature than their age.
SPOILER ALAERT! Don’t read the rest of my book review if you haven’t read the book!
When Theo’s mother dies, he goes through painful times trying to accept what happened, and it’s so heartbreaking because he’s all alone. And throughout the book he goes through some phases of heartache and disappointment. Firstly, he lives with his friend’s family, and he feels like he always has to win their hearts and not ever show them how torn and sad he is on the inside. It’s like he’s pretending that everything is ok, but it’s really not, it’s so much worse. Secondly, he leaves them and moves to Las Vegas to live with his father and his girlfriend. He feels so angry and sorry for what his mom went through with his alcoholic father, because he never treated her well at all, and seeing his father treats his girlfriend so good reminds him of so many moments that his mom felt so broken and betrayed by her husband. In Las Vegas he becomes friends with a boy named Boris, and they form a bond over sharing their sorrow and pain with each other through drinking alcohol and using drugs, which I felt it was too much sometimes to the point where they would end up dead, but gladly they didn’t. The whole point of using too many drugs is to numb and neglect their pain all day, and it was really so freaking sad that I felt so sorry for them. Thirdly, Theo leaves Las Vegas and returns to New York, and start working with Hobbie as an art dealer, and we see how he struggles with his emotions being back where he and his mother used to live. Fourthly, he makes major wrong choices with his life, so he decides to leave everything behind him to reconnect with himself and reflects on his life and do better. I really liked this part, because he finally started to take care of himself.
As much as I fell in love with this book and Theo’s world, there’s something that I didn’t like, which is how all the female characters have no depth at all, I just didn’t like any of them except Theo’s mother. Unlike the male characters! They were written in a way that makes you feel like you know them personally, and you can decide whether you love or hate them, but I couldn’t tell how I felt about the female characters, and it was so weird. Other than that, the book is excellent. To wrap up my review, The Goldfinch is a heartfelt and powerful story about loss, love, pain, and how can art affect our lives tremendously.