Here it is, The Goldfinch. In some fancy hotel lobby around the world. At nearly 800 pages, lugging this beast around the world has not been easy on my shoulders. It has come with me everywhere this fall - Mexico, Ireland, the Galapagos, London, Berlin, Paris, and now Lisbon, where I finally finished it.
I've had some pretty heated discussions with my friends over this book. I loved it from page one, and was completely sucked in. Then I let it go for a few weeks. I didn't even open it in Ireland. Towards the end, I lost interest and then it came roaring back. The final paragraphs completely slayed me.
I will never forget Theo Decker, or any of the characters. Hobie, Pippa, his mother, his father, Boris, Andy, Kitsey, Mrs. Barbour...and so on. They are all burned in my mind, as real as anything. Through it all - a characterization of New York City that absolutely blew me away.
"That life—whatever else it is—is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it.
That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch."
To love what Death doesn't touch - he is referring to artwork that passes on from one generation to the next. Beautiful writing make my heart beat fast, like when you're falling in love.
What are you reading? I also just finished This is Where I Leave You in about three days. Roaringly funny and poignant.