Unfortunately so many books I have read lately start out with a bombing of a well known location. In this case it is a museum in New York. There are casualties and one of them is a young boy Theodore Decker Mom. As he crawls out he has a chance encounter with a man who gives him a ring and ask him to give it to his friend. He also find the painting The Goldfinch. He and his Mom had just been talking about it. It was one that had impressed her. This chance meeting and the painting would have a huge impact on his life.
Theo’s Dad is out of the picture so he ends up staying with the family of his friend. He was traumatized of course who wouldn’t be after crawling out of a bombed building, death everywhere but he was healing very, very slowly.Then his father showed up and when I say father I mean this in a strictly sperm donor way because he was not the greatest human being and could barely take care of himself. He is a gambler living in Las Vegas with his girlfriend in a community where the builder went bust. They are drug addicts. It is a desolate community where Theo is isolated and left to basically take care of himself. His life is changed forever.
Since 9/11 life has changed so dramatically. Growing up I had an occasional death touch my life. One weekend we were playing tennis with a friend and the next weekend she was gone. Heart issues. But not once did I think that if I got on the subway or the Amtrak a bomb might go off. Sure that was happening in the middle east but this was the US. How truly naive of me. How sad it is for our children.
This book was on the NY Times 2014 bestseller list and won the Pulitzer prize for fiction. It is a must read if you have not read it already. I don’t think you will be disappointed.