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Rebel Housewife Reviews


Featuring response and reviews on anything and everything: mostly books; movies, kid stuff, and other life essentials, too. Rebel Reviews are (usually) not long and drawn out in tedious detail; not everything you ever wanted to know; not even terribly intellectual--just the basic info to encourage you to check it out, whatever it is, if it interests you too!

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This Week's Feature:

Wednesday
Jan082014

BOOK GROUP REVIEWS: THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

Starting the new year with a Book Group Review for one of the undisputed, and much-celebrated, Best Books of 2013:

"A Brilliant Kaleidoscope of a Novel..."


The Goldfinch: A Novel
by Donna Tartt

(Little, Brown and Company - October 22, 2013)

[Hardcover, 784 pgs, $30.00 U.S. - Buy for less on Amazon.com.]

I had the great pleasure of a sneak peek at The Goldfinch in September, before the official release in late October, thanks to my good friend at Little, Brown and Company, who offered galley copies to the Midtown Atlanta Book Group for preview. Because of its heft, at 700+ pages, we split the reading into two parts and extended the discussion over November and December, typically light months in book group participation.

The overwhelming enthusiasm for this book drove record attendance two months in a row, during the busy holiday season. The Goldfinch was so good, most of our book group members devoured it completely before the November meeting, and we still had plenty to talk about in December.

Midtown Book Group rated The Goldfinch 4.6 out of 5, which is an extremely high rating (Outstanding!) from this diverse, very literate, often highly critical club.

The Goldfinch gets off to an explosive start, literally, with a terrorist bombing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Out of the chaos, a young boy stumbles away with a priceless work of art, and begins a life adventure he could never have anticipated. We follow this young man, as he struggles to overcome tragic loss, dysfunction and deception, from New York to Las Vegas to New York to Amsterdam.

The Goldfinch is a brilliant kaleidoscope of a novel, where everything gets broken -- smashed beyond repair at the beginning -- and comes out irreparably skewed, patched back together in a dozen different ways. Donna Tartt offers many threads, masterfully woven, with a cast of characters both dazzling and desperate, from our unreliable narrator and his underworld friends to the denizens of New York society, high art, and the world of fine antiques.

Although it is a tragedy, start to finish, The Goldfinch is every genre rolled into one: mystery, romance, suspense, comedy, young adult, and international intrigue. At a time when readers are snacking on fluffy, low-cal supermarket bestsellers, Donna Tartt puts out a literary feast -- a five-part meal, so varied, so delicious and satisfying, you’ll be exhausted, but you won’t be able to stop until the end.