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Book Club: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

By Margaret Manning April 04, 2014 Mindset

The Goldfinch” is described by author Stephen King as, “a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind.” The author, Donna Tartt took 12 years to write this book. She took her time to create authentic and complex characters that bring the book’s primary theme of loss to life.

“The Goldfinch” tells the story of boy called Theo Decker. He is 13-years old and abandoned by his father. He also survived the accident that killed his mother. Adopted by a wealthy family, his transformation begins. The book describes how he adjusts to a new lifestyle and begins to deal with his grief. He has one memory of his mother: a small, unusual painting. His obsession with her memory and attachment to his painting lead him into the underworld world of art.

I chose this book for the Sixty and Me community for two reasons. First, it was recommended by many women in the community, many of whom found it transformational. Second, it deals with the experience of loss that many older women have dealt with. Even though it is a story about a young man, the characters in the book show the spectrum of choices that we are forced to make when we experience a loss in the family.

If you don’t already have a copy of “The Goldfinch” you can get it on Amazon or free with a free 30-day trial on Audible.

To kick things off, here are a few questions. Please add your thoughts in the comments:

Did you find the characters in this book believable? Which one did you most identify with?

Theo lives in Las Vegas, Amsterdam and New York. Which location did you feel was most evocative?

Did you find this book to be inspirational in dealing with loss and trauma?

Did you find the ending of the book appropriate?

Was there anything in the book that you thought was missing?

What do you think the symbol of the painting represents in the story?

Is there one question you would have asked the author?

I hope that you enjoy this book! Please share your thoughts below.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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