Eleven women met at Robin Oquist’s home on May 13 to discuss Donna Tartt’s third novel, Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinch. 13-year old Theo Decker, lives in a New York City apartment with his mother, his father having abandoned them. When the two visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there’s an explosion and his mother is killed. Directed by a dying man (who is there with his granddaughter, Pippa), Theo takes Carel Fabritius’s painting, The Goldfinch. Theo goes to live with a classmate’s family, the Barbours, until his deadbeat father shows up and takes him to Las Vegas. At school Theo meets Boris, a Ukrainian kid. The two form a tight friendship, but one that includes theft and drugs. Theo’s father steals his inheritance, is killed in an auto accident, and Theo returns to NYC, still possessing the painting. The story covers his relationship with and working for a furniture restorer, his unfulfilled love for Pippa, his engagement to a Barber daughter, his descent into drugs and fraud, and his involvement in the art crime world due to the painting. The latter takes him to Amsterdam. There is a feeling of Greek tragedy about the book, as though Theo didn’t steal the painting, but that the painting chose him and becomes an albatross around his neck. Emotionally, he cannot return the painting. Deep characterization and numerous plot twists add to this rich tale.