Recognition of bereavement in novels: 'The Goldfinch'
August 25, 2014
Summertime is usually the time of year we read the books that have piled up in several months. The books that were important, but were not on a deadline to be read. The Goldfinch was one of them. I bought the book the moment I finished reading a segment of the back cover text:
"Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art."
Begin an orphan, I felt connected to this theme. it was a fierce struggle to find a sense of belonging after my parents passed away. But is wasn't until one of my connections on Facebook commented on one of my post with some sentences from the book. They triggered me to finish the book, cover to cover. And no, I am not going to reveal the sentences. But as Jonathan Lee writes in his review of The Goldfinch on Literary Review: 'This is the story of a bespectacled, gifted, orphaned boy grieving the tragic death of his parents, growing into a risky new maturity, seeking to overcome adversities in a world not quite his own...'
Maybe it's indeed challenging not to think of Great Expectations and/or Harry Potter. But still. It's a piece of art.