The premise of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Goldfinch” is dark. It goes something like this:
Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a bomb goes off. Bodies everywhere. A disaster. Among the injured is 13-year-old Theo Decker, who lost his mother in the blast. In the book, we follow Decker from the moment of the explosion to his life afterwards — moving in with his best friend’s family, moving in with his ne’er-do-well father, and the “what if?” exercises that so many victims of these kinds of tragedies suffer from. What if I was standing somewhere else? What if I had done something different today? Would my mother still be alive?
It’s devastating. About as devastating a portrait of loss as you’d want to read, but you do want to read it. And that’s because the writing is so exceptional.