The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's impossible to compare this to The Secret History (still one of my favorite re-reads) or The Little Friend, but it does in some ways fall in between the two. Tartt's ability to give characters different voices is as strong as ever, and her use of language even stronger. So why only three stars? I've really been vacillating between three and four, to be honest - not because of the writing but because of the long (to me) digressions. There were times when the plot ground to a halt and we got tons of exposition that really didn't move anything forward but felt like perhaps she'd written them and wanted somehow to put these passages in, so why not send two characters to a bar or something and just talk? Not converse, talk.
I have to give her credit for surprising me at several moments. There were times when I thought "ok, this is what will happen" and then discovered that no, it didn't happen and wasn't going to happen. Other times it was a little more obvious which way things would go, but it was those surprises that made me wonder what I really thought about the book. What I mean is, at times I wondered why we were heading in this particular direction and then found myself amidst one of the exposition passages that dragged things down while sort-of setting up the next bit.
This isn't the re-read (and re-re-read, or re-re-re-re-read) that Secret History is, but it's a better read - and more thought provoking - than Little Friend.
ARC provided by publisher.