I am reading The Goldfinch, because everyone else is reading The Goldfinch and I am a cliche. According to my Kindle, I’m only about 40% into the book, and so far, I’m really not sure what the hype is about, nor am I sure where all of this is going. I do, however, have three thoughts: (SPOILER ALERT!)
1. Going into the book, I purposefully avoided all reviews and plot summaries so that nothing would be spoiled. All I knew was that an “accident” took the life of the little boy’s mother, he was taken in by a wealthy family, and a piece of art was somehow involved. Well, the description of said “accident” was shocking and absolutely gut wrenching.
When I was living in New York, The Met was my favorite museum and I frequented it often. Reading about what took place there was so vivid that it actually gave me nightmares, and in a post-911 New York, it is always in the back of everyone’s mind that something horrifying like that may happen again. I give it a 10 in shock value.
2. Ever since I became a mother, story lines that involve mother and child are especially effective at pulling my heart-strings. I just finished reading Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia and couldn’t even begin to imagine how it would feel to lose your only child. Though it’s the opposite scenario in The Goldfinch, I found it equally as heartbreaking to think about my son losing his mother. I had to put my Kindle down several times reading about Theo waiting for his mom to come home, the way he wanted to be on his best behavior, the way he left food for her in case she was hungry. That killed me.
3. The boy Theo became after he moved to Vegas really got me thinking about how important parental figures and nurturing are in a kid’s life, even if the kid is already a teenager. In New York with his mother, he was a normal kid, going to school, growing up, dealing with your run of the mill teenage adolescency. But in Vegas, living with a father who couldn’t care less about him, and no one to give him care or direction, he turned into a raging alcoholic/stoner/petty theft criminal. In his own words, “How had I gone from AP everything to being lumped in with a derelict…” It’s sad, and no child deserves that kind of life.
Other than that, where the plot is heading, I have no idea. I’m stuck at a point where it’s rambling on and on about Theo’s life in Vegas, and I don’t know what this has anything to do with the painting, the wealthy family in New York, the little girl at the Met, or the owner of the antique store. At almost 800 pages long, it really needs to pick up the pace and get to the point. (If there is one?)
My interest and curiosity are waning. Something, anything, happen already!