"Maybe even if we're not so glad to be here, it's our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn't touch."
Seriously, though- I'm not sure I'm back to full reviewing capacity yet (whether I'm ever at full reviewing capacity, whatever that is, is up for debate anyway, I'm sure) but what else am I supposed to do with my evenings other than try to write things? Actually do stuff? Don't be stupid.
And anyway, I want to talk about The Goldfinch, because this book knocked my socks off. It really did. I started reading it on Christmas Eve, I think, or that's at least when I first got really into it, I read little bits of it in between hospital visits, and then didn't pick it up again until the weekend after my nan's death, when I just couldn't take any more internet, or games on my phone. It will therefore go down in my personal history as the book that gave me back some concentration, and for that I will be forever grateful.
But actual information about the actual book: The Goldfinch is set across America, and across the teens and early twenties of Theodore Decker, our narrator and subject and kind of our everything as far as this book is concerned. The book opens with a detailed, terrible, beautiful, descriptive load of pages* about the morning of his mother's death, and all of those factors continue throughout the entire book, and it's amazing. Plenty of difficult subjects are covered, and every one of them feels real, and thought out, and not forced or feeling like they're there as issues-for-the-sake-of-issues. It's pretty great.
As well as the issues, there are also a lot of thoughts about art, and life, and love, and all those enormous things that really good fiction covers without even having to try too hard, and The Goldfinch feels like it doesn't even have to try at all. These things are so seamlessly rolled into the story that, as you're rushing through it, you don't even think about them much at all, but afterwards, or in the back of you're mind, you're thinking about the effects of grief on people, about how love can be difficult under certain circumstances, about art and how it keeps us going- and honestly, this book helped keep me going.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending (let's discuss, those of us who have read The Goldfinch, that means you, Alice) but I know that I loved this book a crazy amount, that it is easily my favourite of Donna Tartt's books (and I loved her other two, as well) and that you should probably definitely read it because it's kind of a masterpiece.
*ah, haven't you missed my precision and excellence?