Donna Tartt writes in raw but artistically detailed style that allows you to easily enter Theo’s conscious an experience his loss first hand.
This book is written beautifully. Its depiction of how grief and guilt play out following tragedy is one of the most realistic I have read in a modern setting. Theo’s life takes a dramatic turn when a tragic event leaves him utterly alone.
Donna Tartt’s narration of the years that follow is a very realistic illustration of Survivor’s Guilt, which is recognized as a form of post traumatic stress disorder. While some may find Theo’s decision making outrageous, frustrating and inexcusable, looking deeper you see that it is born out of deep sadness and a profound sense of guilt for both his parents deaths that drastically impacts his mental health.
Those, like myself, who experience Survivor’s Guilt, know that it often prevents you from believing you deserve to heal or deserve to be happy. I see this is Theo as well.
What is unfortunate is that Theo cannot bring himself to be honest with Pippa, who was injured in the same bombing and lost her grandfather “Welty”. She is one of the few who could have the capacity to understand. But Theo holds back.
I hope The Goldfinch can remind us to cherish those close to us. I hope it can prompt us to empathize with those who struggle to work through their grief. I hope it can make us look deeper into those we cannot understand.
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