The Goldfinch by Donna Tratt started off really well, but I’ve stepped into the third part and found myself completely lost in the maze of stories. Reading a bit like a Dickens novel – on the one characters life story and its ups and downs front – the book began really well. There was an explosion in a museum, a painting was mistakenly stolen, a mother died, a child was orphaned then rescued then rescued again only to turn to self destruction and substance abuse. We then get to the protagonist losing several more people and continuing to shuffle between locations and storylines. Sound confusing? It actually isn’t when you read it, but the greatest confusion is where is the plot going?
It’s like the authors written two different books and joined them into the one. Theo, our lead, is doesn’t incite any sympathy after the initial turn when his mother dies. He’s very 2D in a world of characters that are all given half a life – either literally or in form. This might be the one book I don’t finish this year – it has no driving force and it feels like the author took all her favourite elements and threw them together in several chapters with a smattering of a storyline while putting the same protagonist in each. Huh.
In good news, I have finally reached the climax of The Count of Monte Christo – a two year endeavour! It is a fantastic book but perhaps one I should have started reading on a month long holiday when I could dedicate a few hours each day to just this. The story is fantastic, hold you throughout its maze of multiple characters and stories, always coming back to the key point – revenge for Edmund Dantes. I loved the good ol’ Count. He has such a brilliant transition, from despair to melancholy to resolve – he has it all and when some of his plans are fulfilled in their extreme, he has the good sense to feel guilty; perhaps a redeeming quality of the best kind. Twenty pages stand between me and the ending. I’ll return with my complete review soon!