On falling for Donna

“I started off loving the bird, the way you’d love a pet or something, and ended up loving the way he was painted.”

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (p. 26)

Right now I’m reading The Goldfinch, and I’m so in love with Donna Tartt’s writing. Her dialogue, especially, just gets right down into me as something very true or very idealistically true of what people could say if they were bright and fascinating or ignorant and horrifying. I’m not sure why I didn’t really get into Donna Tartt’s work sooner. The name was always around, but there are so many good books out there and my to-read list is 300+ books long.

I actually readThe Little Friend a few years ago, and it baffled me. I understood it was great writing, but I went into it thinking there would be something more there, from the hype surrounding Tartt as an author. I had been so excited to settle in with what I thought would be an engrossing, intense, heavy, good book that the experience left me somewhat turned off to reading more of her stuff.

Recently, I had one of those amazing experiences where you are out to coffee with friends, someone new is there, and you realize they are an avid reader like yourself. When I confessed my love for mysteries, this fellow book lover suggested Tartt’s The Secret History as an excellent mystery-type book to check out.

And that suggestion got me to where I am, totally into Tartt. I listened to The Secret History on audiobook, what seemed to me to be a masterpiece narrated by the author. If you haven’t read The Secret History, now is the time. Small private college ideals of intellectualism go horribly awry, and the unfolding narrative account of what exactly went wrong amidst a studious group of Greek students manages to be enchanting and horrifying like only the best books can be.

The Goldfinch on Amazon.com

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