The GoldfinchBook - 2015
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The Goldfinch by Donna Tart Theo Decker loses his mother in a terrorist bombing, which he miraculously survives. Abandoned by his cruel father, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Clinging to the last memory of his mother a small painting of a goldfinch, he is eventually drawn into the mysterious underworld of art, leading him into a dangerous circle of lies and deceit. Winner… (more)
From Library Staff
A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few th... Read More »
CRRL_MegS Aug 03, 2017
Theo Decker survives a tragic accident that takes the life of his mother. He is taken in by a family friend and struggles to cope with the lonely life he must now lead. As he grows older, he finds himself fascinated by a small painting of a Goldfinch that reminds him of his long-dead mother. But ... Read More »
"Theo Decker survives a terrorist attack on the Metropolitan Museum, steals the titular painting, is shipped out west to live with his ne’er-do-well father, does drugs with his bff, kidnaps his stepmother’s dog, escapes back to NYC, is taken in by his mentor/father figure (who teaches him ho... Read More »
A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few t... Read More »
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Watched the film adaptation today and decide to add this quote to contrast the film script:
“Well—I have to say I personally have never drawn such a sharp line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as you. For me: that line is often false. The two are never disconnected. One can’t exist without the other. As long as I am acting out of love, I feel I am doing best I know how. But you—wrapped up in judgment, always regretting the past, cursing yourself, blaming yourself, asking ‘what if,’ ‘what if.’ ‘Life is cruel.’ ‘I wish I had died instead of.’ Well—think about this. What if all your actions and choices, good or bad, make no difference to God? What if the pattern is pre-set? No no—hang on—this is a question worth struggling with. What if our badness and mistakes are the very thing that set our fate and bring us round to good? What if, for some of us, we can’t get there any other way?”
“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”
“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”
Why does it cost so much, a thing like from kindergarten class? 'Ugly Blob.' 'Black Stick with Tangles." - Boris
That life -- whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. … It is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch (the Goldfinch painting). For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time – so too has love….
Other: Prolific drug and alcohol use. So much so that a young person may be drawn to experimentation due to the descriptive sensations of peace as described by the author. Also, anyone struggling with addictions should likely steer clear of this book.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Violent loss of parent and deaths of many others. "Trauma" is the theme, so it is full of disturbing scenes.
AgeAdd Age Suitability
SummaryAdd a Summary
Leo is in a museum in New York City when a terrorist sets off a bomb. Alive but stunned, Leo comforts a dying man who gives him a ring with instructions where to take it, and then he grabs a valuable painting of a goldfinch and makes his way out of the museum and home. His mother has died in the bombing, and his life from then on revolves around the painting, the girl Pippa who alerted him to the bomb, Pippa's uncle Hobie who takes in Teo and teaches him to restore antiques, and Boris who is just bad news. This is the story of the power of great artworks to grab you soul and not let go. It is also a powerful reminder of the plight of children who lose their parents, or whose parents don't care for them.