Theo Decker is a kid with problems.
His beloved mother’s dead, killed in an explosion in a Manhattan museum. His dad’s a douche who scarpered the year before, though that was no bad thing. There’s also this business with a painting Theo took with him from the wreckage of the bomb and hasn't gotten around to telling anyone about. Also, and bear in mind this guy’s 13, Theo’s got the nickname Potter because of his resemblance to a certain overachieving wizard boy.
But as much as Donna Tartt’s long-awaited third novel The Goldfinch is concerned with the physical reality, it is also about more marvelous qualities. In the midst of a devastating explosion, she gives Manhattan a magic that makes you want to book a flight direct to JFK. In the fusty world of West Village art restoration, she invests Theo’s newfound friends with mystical old-world wonder.
When our hero’s odyssey leads him west to the void of Vegas, he finds thrilling, and life-affirming friendship. But the real magic begins when the gradual sense of ownership you’ll feel for the book’s hero finally captures you so strongly you’ll wonder where it came from.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is out on Little, Brown 22 October.