this book was fantastic. it made me so emotional -- sometimes giddy happy, sometimes crestfallen, sometimes very very angry.
it's a really poignant story about the journey of a young woman named Eilis, who comes to Brooklyn from Ireland in the 1950s. over the course of the story, she grows becomes independent, bold, courageous. she falls in love. she takes control of her life. then she has to go back to Ireland because of a family emergency...and all of this growth and development seems to have stayed behind across the ocean.
i was deeply disturbed by parts of this story. some decisions that Eilis made were very upsetting to me. to me, it's a sign of a great writer when i'm sitting here reading the book and talking out loud to the characters. this is what i was doing while i read this book, especially the final part. i was hoping with all my might that she made the decisions that i wanted her to make. i felt like i had a stake in her life.
i loved the charm of this story. the little surprises that kept me interested. and the interesting choices that were laid in front of Eilis.
this was a really solid book. i admit the first quarter of the book was a little slow for me...hence the 4 vs 5 star rating...but once it got into the meat of the story -- i really loved it. couldn't put it down, in fact.
everyone in this novel was extremely well written...todd, our narrator, a character who's decisions aren't always the greatest...but who we sympathize with and root for the ENTIRE novel. boris, his sketchy yet always loyal russian best friend (my favorite character in this book)...pippa, hobie, xandra, mrs. barbour, all well developed and extremely thought out....even the juice collector who shows up at todd's father's doorstep is explored as an entity in the novel, a person who is real and understood and rooted in the story. every character is magical in their glamour and quality.
then there's the goldfinch. the painting for which this story really surrounds. a painting that todd holds to such high esteem, it seems almost enigmatic to the reader. i found myself looking up images of the painting multiple times during reading this book -- exploring studies of it -- reading about the painter. the obsession around the goldfinch carries on to the reader, albeit in a different way. i wanted to know as much about the piece as i could...because it seemed so IMPORTANT.
donna tartt has a graceful and eloquent style of writing that is evident from page 1 (no matter if the story lagged a bit upfront). she is a masterful storyteller with an amazing gift to really get inside the mind and heart of her characters.
I LOOOVVVEEED THIS BOOK!!!
how did this novel only take 2 years to write? and how was eleanor catton only 27 years old when it was published??? i feel like the amount of detail about astrology and historical realism in this book would have...should have...taken 10 years to research and work out. never mind the way the the waning of the chapters, following the moon cycles grow progressively longer and then extremely short. the chapter introductions,...growing progressively longer and longer and longer. the astrological star titles given to each character, and astrological house given to each location, all switching prominence and even switching moods as their charts change. the layers of discovery...stories within stories...how each chapter breaks the belief i had in different character's motives and actions.
even WITHOUT the structural complexity of this novel, it's a winner in my eyes. even WITH the structural complexity, it seemed like an easy read, and it didn't seem as long as it is. and i must admit...i think some of the structural complexity was lost to me!!!
the novel offers up theatrical settings with secrets and sex and drugs and mystery. lively characters, even without much depth, tromp in and out of the chapters....tangling a web that you think is going to be unraveled. but keeps getting even more twisted.
so many people have said this book is a 'difficult' read...but i did not find even one page of it difficult. this really is a book that is pure joy to read. PURE JOY.
i am so excited to revisit this novel again and again throughout the rest of my life...to me, it's one of those books i will never ever forget and never ever just leave on the shelf.
yes, the hype is true. this is one of the best "summer reads" i've listened to...or i've ever encountered, for that matter. after reading multiple (upon multiple) reviews of this book online and in, like, every magazine, i decided to take a dive into a book that is SO not my usual foray. i was utterly impressed and so glad i did.
there are so many mixed reviews of the narrator in this story, Kate/Daisy. i've read so many people who think she's just an awful person. funny, because i really really liked her. i liked her, i liked violet, i liked hank and jeremy. i liked them all. in their different and somewhat horrible ways, i found something in each of them that i really really liked. and even despite that, even if i didnt like these characters...i would have still loved this story. the novel was so well written, so well conceived, so well realized...it's a fantastic book to read.
Kate was such a real narrator. she was funny and honest and real. i love characters in stories that you can see stepping off the page and actually being alive, and this is how she is. i thought violet was hysterical. i laughed out loud quite a few times at her reactions to things...her one liners...her commentary.
look. this is a really great interesting summer read. the characters are extremely well written, and the story is very very captivating. i loved it.
solid book about a boy growing up, and then becoming a 17 year old dealing with life, death, friendship, family, being an outcast, being "different"...
really well written, really well read, with thoughtful characters. Alex "Lex" was a thinker, having an unusual mother and no father, and then the "accident" -- i enjoyed his explanations and thoughts processes. he was bright and interesting.
of course i loved the Vonnegut references.
the book themes overall were thought provoking. i enjoyed this.
(ps. doesn't read as a YA novel. i was surprised that this was categorized as such)
following the trail of emails, texts and alternating chapters to reveal what happened the day Amelia Baron died proved to be a fun roller coaster ride full of twists and turns and lots of shady characters whom the reader thinks pushed her off that roof.
up until the very last few seconds of Amelia's story, Kimberly McCreight throws in little things to keep you guessing.
great narration. really embodies teenage girls well.
i am really sick of everyone comparing different novels that have twist endings to "gone girl" - honestly, this is not like gone girl at all. it's a book of its own with it's own interesting (and screwed up) characters and really doesn't mirror "gone girl" in any way.
i loved the stories. i thought every single one was expertly written. there is a wide variety of topics, and every single character was well developed.
the description of understanding love in Signac's Boats.
i thought that this narrator was robotic, had no emotion and was just awful. honestly, if the stories weren't so well written, I would have stopped listening for lack of interest. it is a true testament to the writing that i got through this boring draining narration.
this book was really really breathtaking. what an imagination this author has. i mean, the story of adam hope is so interesting and unique and inventive. narrated by the woman who found him, adam's wife, evelyn, it's quite sad at times, extremely thought provoking, and really beautifully written. i haven't listened to anything narrated by Stina Nielsen before...but will check out her other books. she really was a great reader.
i like the fact that though this story revolves around someone so unique and different and special…the true nature of the book is about relationships. it's really a story of unconditional love and love of family.
the character of addie/adam/"A" is so well developed. a supernatural being, of sorts, he's so full of joy and his spirit rings so sweetly in the story. you can't help but love him (her? it?). there is an innocence about him that reminds me of a child, but a maturity and grace that you wonder if he's been around forever. the mystery of his origins, and especially of his "voice" are never resolved…but that doesn't matter (at least not to me). the story that unfolded around him was good enough for me to be satisfied. i felt that, as a reader, i too had to take a leap of faith and accept him for who and what he was…and love him for it without question. just like evelyn did.
it's hard to say anything about the book without sounding like a book report…and moreso because it's really just a pleasure to unwrap and discover for yourself and i wouldn't want to ruin the wonder of this book for anyone. its a great sweeping novel, a fantastic and compelling read and i recommend it wholeheartedly.
I was really disappointed in this book. I think that it was the weakest of the Dublin Murder Squad series. True it had Tana French's perfect dialogue writing...but everything else was just OK.
The mystery wasn't great.
The main character, Scorcher, was just OK.
The narrator was just ok.
this book was so stinking good. i found it to be the simplest book i've ever read by gaiman. its a quick and easy story full of magic and fantasy and it's thrilling in the way a gaiman book always is.
i wasn't sure i'd like gaiman reading this book himself, but he was great. the best part of an author reading their own work is it truly is presented exactly as they envisioned it while writing...and in this case it was awesome.
i also loved the stories' narrator. he told the story so perfectly in the memories of a man who was once an innocent and wide eyed boy tangled up in a world of magic and good and evil.
Lettie was one of my favorite characters ever written by gaiman. she was old and young and wise and special. she was a perfect friend to our narrator. a tragic figure who sacrificed everything to protect him and his family...and actually, the world, too.
i think that gaiman is the best author of adult fairy tales. hands down. he knows how to craft a story that any and every adult can sink their teeth into, and absolutely get lost in. i am not only amazed by his writing, but scared and creeped out and excited. though this story was short, (i always think the books i love are too short), it was packed full of greatness. and i loved every second of it.
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