Saturday, May 31, 2014

Going back on old promises....I've done it again!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - A Book Review

Struck by the travails of domestic life, my promise to myself, of writing at least one post a month has gone kaput. The very reason I started this blog, which was to document my life, my thoughts and things that touch my life as a mother, has now left me with little or no time to write. My new job isn't helping either ( which incidentally is also to do with writing!)

What I did find out about myself was that no matter how badly I manage my time, there is somehow always the time to read my books. Seldom a day goes by without a flipping a page or two. Even on the worst days, meaning on a trip to Goa or dealing with a persistent toddler tantrum, I still manage a page or two.

To cut the long story short, I am now preparing to start a book review blog right here. I sincerely believe I manage to read a lot of books and my opinion may help or eventually count.

The kind of books I read are not always bestsellers, nor are they always only the most recommended ones on popular online websites. I choose my books based on the subjects that interest me at that point in time and the cover page of the book.

I do try to read subsequent books by authors whose first book I like. So here's to a new start!

Starting my first review with this amazing book, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Book review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 

This is the first Donna Tartt novel which I read and since then, she has become my go-to author when I am missing action in my life. Her story in The Goldfinch transported me to the bleak weather of London, the twisty lanes of Amsterdam, the dark underbelly of the Russian mafia and the colorful life in Vegas.
Pulitzer Award for 2013
But that's not even half the reason why I would recommend this book. Her characters are so believable and their emotions so tangible, they will make you ache inside when things don't go their way. The protagonist, thirteen year old Theo, struggles against a tragedy that renders him an orphan and the weight of a burden he inadvertently bears when he is witness to a violent death. This is not a spoiler- far more is revealed in the first chapter itself.

The first half of the book follows young Theo, unable to grieve for the loss of his mother, as he passes from one caregiver to another, never able to say or do what he really wants.

Eventually, many people enter his life, but the one who stole my heart was Hobbie. His presence in Theo's life soothed not only Theo but me as well as I would read in alarm when Theo would make yet another wrong decision in and about his life.

Donna Tartt writes effortlessly and manages to hold the reader in a grip when there is a twist to the tale. I found it hard to put down the book at such times. Stealing even 30 seconds to read when I could. A word of caution though for the impatient readers out there. This is a whopping 771 page novel and there are times when you will be tempted to skim through the pages when she gets too descriptive about seemingly unimportant topics. But most times it will transport you to the world of Theo Decker, his yearning for true love that can never be his, or his drug abuse that will leave you aghast.

Donna Tartt is an expert in writing about troubled characters. Her previous novel The Secret History too dealt with deaths and troubled teens. I am currently reading it and will soon post a review. Meanwhile, happy reading. BTW, this novel won the Pulitzer award in 2013. Although, I am not someone who necessarily likes award winning books, this one certainly deserved it. I rate it 4.5/5.