Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group
New York, New York
"That life-whatever else it is- is short. That fate is cruel
but maybe not random....And in the midst of our dying, as we rise
from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is
a glory and privilege to love what Death doesn't touch."
How do we know when a piece of artwork is a masterpiece? How does
anyone learn about beauty, form, style and technique in recognizing
true art whether in music, writing, or art?
Theo Decker has never been a part of a group. Early in his life,
he was singled out for his intelligence and placed in advanced
classes. With another student, Theo and Andy frequently found
themselves bonded in a type of friendship joining in their constant
battle against bullies. Through the natural isolation, the two had a
bound of survival by relying on each other as their only friend.
Theo also was extremely close to his mother, especially after his
father abandoned the two. She was beautiful and had a natural charm
attracting people to her as a fly is drawn to a light.
After being suspended from school one day, his mother took him to
a museum prior to their meeting with the school. When she went into
another room, Theo's world changed forever. The building exploded.
Theo became conscious and was aware of two people near him, an
elderly man and a girl who was close to his age. The man gave him a
ring and told him to take a particular painting, The Goldfinch
which was painted by Vermeer's teacher who was also a student of
Rembrandt. Realizing that
death was near, he grabbed the painting and went home to wait for his
mother. He knew that if she could not find him, she would look for
him at home. At what point would he give up and realize that she was
What does an orphaned thirteen-year-old boy do with a
stolen painting? The answer is The
is a little reminiscent of the Twin Towers' disaster along with
a realistic view of gifted children, absent fathers, foster care,
drug-usage, art crime, and the antique business all blended into a
well-written memorable tale.
This is the type of tale the obsesses your thinking day and night,
even when the last page ends with the final period. The true
gloriousness of this tale is how well the book constantly encircles
art and attempts to define that which words cannot describe,