I’m not going to say that I read “fluff.” But I do usually read the more popular book – the current bestsellers. And I love them!
So I decided I needed a challenge. I found a Pulitzer Prize winner (and a long one at that) and started on the journey through the over-700-page tome. The only thing that challenged me was the length. And the pages and pages of description with no action.
I was intrigued by the concept: A young teen-ager, Theo, loses his mother in a terrorist attack in a museum and “steals” a painting that reminds him of her. The painting obsesses his mind and causes all sorts of trouble. The subject of the artwork is haunting: a small goldfinch chained to a ledge. Theo is trapped, just like the bird, in that he can never get over his mother’s death. There is unrequited love, some mystery and adventure, and you watch Theo go from a scared 13-year old, to a, well, scared young adult.
I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Theo. He made stupid mistake after mistake (drugs, alcohol, theft, lies, getting mixed up with Russian mobsters) and I couldn’t drum up the feelings for someone so inane. The only person I truly adored was Hobie, the old antique shop owner who, like the father Theo never had, loved him and over-looked his shortcomings time and time again. Hobie was the true hero of the book!
There were some beautiful descriptions and some well-written paragraphs, but I only kept reading because I had to find out what happened to the painting. I can’t whole-heartedly recommend this book. It took me forever to get through and wasn’t worth the time. Warming: there’s plenty of bad language (very believable, though) and mention of sexual encounters. The graphic account of drug and alcohol use went on forever. Sad and depressing!
Skip this one, in my opinion. I’m on to my next novel. Have you read anything you LOVE lately? Share, please!