I am almost half way through Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, having joined the virtual challenge at classicvasilly on wordpress.
I panicked when I joined last Sunday thinking oh how am I going to get through this big fat book by year’s end? So I put aside the very slim Olive Kitteridge, which I was loving.
I needn’t have worried. How different my readings of these two books are. Even in my current highly-distracted-by-life state, The Goldfinch absorbs me. I fly through these pages because the story propels, the characters engage, the settings engulf me -- they are filled with rich and palpable detail. What a great story of orphaned and half-orphaned children, those whose lives are upended and displaced by the death of one parent, or both. In his review of this book, Stephen King compares Tartt to Dickens and says he won’t be the last to do so. So let me say “ditto.”
My reading of Olive Kitteridge is much slower. I read through Olive’s prismatic character; each chapter is a linked short story that subtlety or otherwise reveals some shade of Olive’s self. In some chapters, she’s merely peripheral; in other’s dominant. But this, for me is slow reading as I piece together this wonderful, somewhat crotchety retired schoolteacher living, as I once did, in a small Maine town.
What’s next: I am looking forward to both looking back on the year and looking ahead to some goal setting—so unlike me. I am considering new challenges.
Happy holidays bloggers an others. I have learned so much from all of you this year.