Marie-Laure is left blind by disease, navigating her world by her father’s loving and careful instruction and the intricate, tiny models he makes to show her the way. Werner’s fascination with radio leads to his being taken to a Nazi training academy and into a career he can’t quite clear with his conscience. Their journeys and the journey of a cursed and extremely valuable jewel lead them on intriguing courses which eventually converge.
I really enjoyed this book. It managed to retain a beauty, innocence and fascination and humanity in the midst of a very real portrayal of war and horror. It was long, but I didn’t mind; each story as they were told was separately fascinating and enthralling. They didn’t converge as much as I expected; but it turned out that it didn’t really matter.
When Theo Decker survives the terrorist attack on an art museum that kills his mother, he takes with him The Goldfinch, a famous and invaluable painting. His life then unfolds in segments, profoundly impacted by the strong characters that he’s around, such as his con-man drunken father, emotionally stunted Andy, trustworthy Hobie, frantic Boris and wonderful Pippa. Unable to escape his past despite forays into drugs and crime, the painting becomes a secret that seems necessary to his survival. But this too catapults him into betrayal, violence and the European criminal underworld. He writes his memoirs as a way to try to piece it all together.
This was a strange book! As perhaps the summary suggests, there are so many strands, segments and themes to it – and it’s so long – that it’s hard to form a cohesive thought about this book. Plus of course, it won a Pulitzer Prize. So it must be good. Right?