August, 2015: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

(Book #64) Melissa hosted this meeting — we started on her roof but soon felt the first drops of rain forcing us inside. She served a picnic dinner, fresh fruits and veggies, chicken salad and croissants. We had a choice of two desserts — lemon gelato or Hagen Daz ice cream bars.

Our book discussion started with what makes a book a Pulitzer Prize winner and whether this book deserved the win. Some of us were bothered by the character Boris, the crazy amount of drugs and Theo’s relapses into poor judgement. Others felt that the book had some beautifully written moments — particularly those that described Theo’s mother– but that the part of the book spent in Las Vegas should have been edited.  I think most of us agree that Donna Tartt is an excellent writer — there were so many passages that were the kind of writing you want to read to your friends and hope to remember — to save for another conversation. The characters were complex — I loved Hobie and would have loved Welty. My only criticism was that it  could have been tauter. The repetition of the drugs and the regular worry about being found out added pages that we probably could have done without.