The Secret History. Just the name of this now-classic psychological thriller (one of the first of the genre, perhaps), first published over two decades ago, is enough to send chills down the spine of readers everywhere. The story of outcast Richard — who makes a new home for himself in a small college in Vermont, where he is befriended by a small clique of students with deep, dark secrets — is a favorite among lovers of the written word. In that book, Donna Tartt combined a great narrator and suspenseful storytelling with smart characters and innumerable literary references. Put together, it makes for a book that you won't be able to put down.
Now, Donna Tartt is back with her first book in over a decade, The Goldfinch. It's sure to satisfy her longtime fans as well as readers who are completely new to her work.
Theo Decker is a 13-year-old boy living in New York City with his mother. His father's been out of the picture for a long time — it's just him and his mom, and they love their lives. His mother is a lover of art, so the two spend time at the many art museums in Manhattan. But one museum is their favorite, and they spend countless afternoons taking in the beautiful paintings there — that is, until one fateful day when a horrible tragedy occurs and Theo's mom is killed. The only thing he has to remember her by is a painting of a goldfinch, taken from a wall of the museum in the chaotic aftermath of the day's events.
As Theo moves through his life, growing and adapting to new circumstances, the painting haunts him. It could destroy everything, yet he can't bring himself to let go of this one connection to his past, to his mother. It follows Theo into adulthood as his impulsive actions as a boy finally catch up to him and threaten to collapse the delicate house of cards upon which he has built his life.
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