Hello! Happy Tuesday. I’m still in Ohio at the moment, currently typing while eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and sipping Constant Comment tea, having had an utterly leisurely morning (my favorite kind). A little yoga. A little packing. A last bit of reading. Yes, I just finished The Goldfinch this morning, feeling equal parts euphoria and exhaustion, like I’d been up all night at a party (ha! except that rarely happens) and was still digesting hazy 3 a.m. details. I’d been speed reading the hefty hardback all weekend since it’s a library book and due tomorrow, toting it just about everywhere this weekend and even forcing myself to read it in the back seat of cars, which usually makes me f-cking nauseous but I had no time for that excuse telling myself to ‘buck up, Sarah!’, and at lazy hotel lobby free cocktail hours. (<—if you’ve read the book, it’s SO appropriate to read with wine.)
Right, the drugs and alcohol in this book are intense, no? Geez, reading about how to detox might have sounded more intense though. “I’d worked out how to quit for good, if I wanted to: steep taper, seven day timetable, plenty of loperamide; magnesium supplements and free form amino acids to replenish my burnt-out neurotransmitters; protein powder, electrolyte powder, melatonin (and weed) for sleep as well as various herbal tinctures and potions my fashion intern swore by:, licorice root and milk thistle, nettles and hops and black cumin seed oil, valerian root and skullcap root.”
This makes things ‘better’ (relatively…)? Hmm, wow, whoa.
Have you read it yet? I seemed to be one of the many tearing through the pages; everyone from strangers on the plane to my dentist to my mom are reading The Goldfinch. It’s my first Donna Tartt novel, and her writing is such a treat, her grammar so genius. Gobsmacked I was just over most of her sentence structure alone! And the characters! ALL OF THEM! I want to start calling someone, ‘Potter!’ And I feel like I’m constantly typing like Boris now! Ha! (My mom said she always overuses exclamation points, so maybe now I’ve just turned into mom over the weekend. Wee!!!)
I’ll just jump right in and say I feel mixed about the ending. I’ve spent a good amount of time on the Goodreads thread where folks have chimed in their own two cents on her ending, and it seems to be all over the place: some people loved it; some hated it; I’m still sitting with it.
But the book is such a journey – nearly 800-pages following young Theo Decker (great name) from a 13-year old in New York to his teens in Las Vegas to his late twenties back in New York with a crazy stop in Amsterdam, feeling sort of like Dickens meets Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas with a twinge of Great Gatsby and something like The Thomas Crown Affair (perhaps?) – that it became less about THE END for me. It took me until page 337 to get addicted, but then I couldn’t put it down.
Through it all, I was touched by the bittersweet love his mom had for him. “And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did.” And the entire novel, I was holding my breath that someone would come forward, emerge, and love Theo like her. Not unrequited love or unfulfilling love, but a kind of unconditional love. (Perhaps Hobie…or Boris, in his own weird way.) Or that maybe, instead, Theo would just start to love himself?
Have yet to chat with anyone who has finished the novel (mom’s only halfway through). Thoughts?! Also, what should I read next? The Secret History? Something lighter? I think I’ve mentioned this before, but for most of the spring I’ve been on a total historical romance smut bender: Amanda Quick, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, etc etc etc, blah blah blah, hahahah! But I’m flying out tonight and need a quick fix. Dad just gave me an old paperback of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher for the plane because I’ve never actually read a King novel before, but he’s the one who reviewed The Goldfinch for the New York Times, so I set aside my fear of nightmares and said, “Hmm, okay!” I’ll let you know how it goes.