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Previous BOMs - Authors; Q - T > The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Anything Goes BOM) Starts March 2, 2016

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod


This topic is to discuss The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Be prepared for spoilers!


Synopsis:
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-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 unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
What is a BOM (Book of the Month)?

At NRBC we use a more structured approach to our BOMs. We have a discussion leader and a reading date is set to start the book. A reading schedule is posted prior to the start date and discussion questions are posted each day regarding that section of the book.

More info under spoiler
(view spoiler)


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Mar 11, 2016 01:28AM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
Chapter Breakdown



Date Chapters Pages PPQDs

2&3 March 1-3 1-121 Daphne
4&5 March 4-5 122-288 No questions posted
6&7 March 6-7 289-406 Imke
**BREAK DAY**
9&10 March 8-9 407-502 RachelvlechaR
11&12 March 10 503-638 Karrie
13&14 March 11-12 639-end(771) Sonia






message 4: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Feb 28, 2016 05:36PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
Discussion Question Volunteers

Imke
RachelvlechaR
Karrie


message 5: by Imke (new)

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments I'm in and volunteer to write questions.


message 6: by RachelvlehcaR (new)

RachelvlehcaR (charminggirl) | 4364 comments I will do DQs. :)


message 7: by Christina (new)

Christina Pilkington | 198 comments I'm exited to participate in this discussion! I actually started listening to this book already on OverDrive because it's a long book. I won't be able to do DQs for this one, but I'm very interested to discuss it.


message 8: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
This is a big book, so I've broken the book into chunks of 2 days (i.e. we will only do Discussion Questions every second day), plus a break day


message 9: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Maanav wrote: "I'm not certain to be willing to read this one, but perhaps I'll bite the bullet because of the questions."

It is beautifully written, but pretty hard going.
The best I can do is compare it to The Casual Vacancy. The stories are COMPLETELY different, but I compare only in that if you are interested in reading a book to appreciate the author's work rather than "enjoy" the story or get some escapism.


message 10: by Geri (new)

Geri | 2042 comments Looking forward to discussing the book! This has been on my to read list for a while.


message 11: by Barb (new)

Barb (barbposinger) I've had this book on my to-read shelf for so long. I'm excited to read it with a group and participate in some great discussions!


message 12: by Kay Kay (new)

Kay Kay | 1793 comments This one is supposed to be on the shelf at the library. I am shocked! I will pick it up and I would write questions if you need me to.


message 13: by Rosina (new)

Rosina | 1592 comments I will join in as well....listening to it....sure is a long listen...


message 14: by ~Michelle~ (new)

~Michelle~ (mlundy5) I'll join in! I will be listening as well, Rosina...and you are right, it is a very long listen! :)


message 15: by Logan (new)

Logan (loganturner) | 1499 comments I'm intimidated by this one, but everyone keeps recommending it to me so maybe I should bite the bullet!


message 16: by Logan (new)

Logan (loganturner) | 1499 comments I went ahead and got it from the library, so count me in.


message 17: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Feb 28, 2016 05:44PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod


The Goldfinch (Dutch: Het puttertje) is a 1654 animal painting by Carel Fabritius of a chained goldfinch. It is an oil painting on panel of 33.5 by 22.8 cm (13.2 by 9.0 in). The work is in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands.

The painting is a trompe-l'œil of a European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) on top of its feeder that is attached to the wall. The feeder consists of two half rings and a blue container. The bird is sitting on the top ring, to which it is chained by its foot. The painting is signed "C fabritivs 1654" at the bottom.

In the 17th century, goldfinches were popular pets because they could be trained to draw water from a bowl with a miniature bucket. The Dutch title of the painting pertains to the bird's nickname puttertje, which refers to this custom and translates literally as 'little weller'.

Source: Wikipedia
Image is the painting and author



message 18: by Geri (new)

Geri | 2042 comments Thank you for the information on The Goldfinch painting! Nice to have an image and not just a description. This is an interesting book. I don't know much about art, so it is very illuminating.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm excited to start this!


message 20: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Geri wrote: "Thank you for the information on The Goldfinch painting! Nice to have an image and not just a description. This is an interesting book. I don't know much about art, so it is very illuminating."

I'm glad you like it. The painting is very significant to the story and I think it helps to have it in mind when reading :)


message 21: by RachelvlehcaR (new)

RachelvlehcaR (charminggirl) | 4364 comments The assignments of DQs haven't been assigned. :(


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Sorry my Goodreads hasn't been working for the last 24 hours... I can't access any messages, anything via the desktop site, or anything other than the occasional random thread that pops up in my notifications! (And even then only on my phone).
I was hoping it would be fixed by now. Grrr.

I have asked the other mods to login on the mod account and assign days so I'm just waiting for someone to wake up :)


message 23: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Mar 02, 2016 12:55AM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
DQ's assigned!

Let me know if any days need to be changed. Or if I miss someone

~Sonia


message 24: by Imke (new)

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments My day is good. Thank you Sonia.


message 25: by Kay Kay (new)

Kay Kay | 1793 comments My day works.


message 26: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Mar 02, 2016 05:52AM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod

Earn Leprechaun Coins for participating in our book of the month reads.

Writing a day's worth of discussion questions = 10 Leprechaun Coins
Participating in a current BOM (participating in discussion):
     - Up to three days = 5 Leprechaun Coins
     - All days = 5 Leprechaun Coins

The coins are cumulative, meaning if you write a day of DQ's, and participate on all days = 5 + 5 + 10 = 20 gold coins

If you still want to post DQ's, you can volunteer for any of the mods spots, just tell us about it till the end of the day


message 27: by Daphne (new)

Daphne (daphnesm) | 937 comments I'd like to give discussion questions a try. I started the book today. :)

Can I take the first or second set of questions? I'm just worried I'll get distracted and not keep up.


message 28: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10171 comments Daphne wrote: "I'd like to give discussion questions a try. I started the book today. :)

Can I take the first or second set of questions? I'm just worried I'll get distracted and not keep up."


Sure, I'll put you first then.


message 29: by Daphne (new)

Daphne (daphnesm) | 937 comments Sonia wrote: "Daphne wrote: "I'd like to give discussion questions a try. I started the book today. :)

Can I take the first or second set of questions? I'm just worried I'll get distracted and not keep up."

Su..."


Does that mean I can start writing my questions now and post them when completed?


message 30: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10171 comments Daphne wrote: "Sonia wrote: "Daphne wrote: "I'd like to give discussion questions a try. I started the book today. :)

Can I take the first or second set of questions? I'm just worried I'll get distracted and not..."


Yes, you can.

I'm on my tablet, will change assignments soon


message 31: by Daphne (last edited Mar 02, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Daphne (daphnesm) | 937 comments Discussion Questions for Chapter 1 - 3

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up.
description
Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?


message 32: by Claire (new)

Claire | 2 comments I bought this one a while ago at a used book sale and have been wanting to get to it, but not really motivated too. Plus, I've been in a reading slump the past few weeks, so hopefully joining the discussion will help! I'm in :)


message 33: by Geri (new)

Geri | 2042 comments Great questions. I will be answering shortly. If it's okay, I'd like to add 1 more discussion question to Chapters 1-3.

Why do you think the author has Theo's Mother tell us about the various paintings in the museum? The story behind The Goldfinch painting and painter? We learn about Theo's Mother's photography and her love of these Dutch painters, any similarities?


message 34: by Geri (new)

Geri | 2042 comments 1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?

Yes, from the beginning the story intrigued me. The mystery of what happened to Theo's Mother kept me listening. (I am listening to the audiobook). I was shocked when it was revealed. Theo is a sympathetic character. I can understand his feelings of guilt, Rightly or wrongly, I do think it is in our nature to think that if things had happened differently, then our loved one may not have died.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up.Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

I agree this is a striking painting! I have been to art museums and enjoy looking at art. But I don't know much about art. I found the stories Theo's Mother told us fascinating, especially how many Dutch painters would sneak in a wilting flower or piece of rotting fruit in to an otherwise beautiful scene. And that this was a statement about how life will eventually come to an end. Vary eloquent, I thought, especially after what happened next!


3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

I LOVE all the descriptive writing! The story really comes to life, especially on audiobook.


4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?

Truthfully, I have read more than 3 chapters so I won't say too much. But I am thoroughly enjoying it. It's a very accessible read. I'm about a third of the way through and it hasn't been difficult. I am on schedule to finish when the last of the discussion questions are posted.


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie  | 194 comments I will be participating in this one! Happy to back to discussing books. I haven't started reading yet, but by tomorrow I should be ready to answer some questions. Super stoked. I've wanted to read this one for a while now.


message 36: by Stephanie (last edited Mar 03, 2016 07:46AM) (new)

Stephanie  | 194 comments Discussion Questions Chapters 1-3

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?


I actually really liked that line. There is a degree of wisdom in it. I don't know if it drew me into the story more, but it definitely stood out to me.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up. Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed the world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

I don't know how to post pictures, so that won't be happening. However, I do have visceral reactions to art. I remember when I was in kindergarten/1st grade the painting that really got to me was "Scream" by Edvard Munch. I was convinced the guy screaming was an alien and it terrified me. Plus, the way it is painted, you are almost seeing him in waves, so it puts you off kilter. The sky in the background is streaked with red, so it feels really alien even if it is supposed to be a sunset (I always picture the guy on Mars). It was shortly after seeing the painting that I developed a real interest in space and science in general, just because suddenly aliens seemed like a real possibility.

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

For the most part, I am enjoying the descriptions as they create a fuller sense of the emotions behind the things that Theo experiences. There are places where I feel like the author could have cut back and I end up skimming through them. I don't know if I enjoy "books like this" as I still haven't figured out what this book is, but so far I like it well enough.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?

I actually think it is pretty good. I think you get a good feel for who Theo is as a character. Clearly, whatever he was doing in the beginning was a bad thing, so I will be interested to see how he transforms from a nice kid to...whatever he is in that opening section. Clearly his mother's death, the old man and the Goldfinch painting are going to have a huge impact on his life. I am excited to see where it goes.


message 37: by Imke (new)

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments Discussion Questions for Chapter 1 - 3

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?
It does help to put myself in his shoes a bit. I likes the honesty of that quote and it shows something a lot of people may go through when they experience something like what Theo experienced.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up.

Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)
Yes I have. I went to the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres near Barcelona and had such a strong reaction to the paintings there I had to leave the museum. It was the volume of strange paintings and sculptures one of them I can take but a whole museum full of them not so much. Here some examples, not sure they were the ones I saw, but you get what I mean.

salvador dali photo: Reflecting Swans SDRS2.jpg

salvador dali photo: salvador dali Dali2.jpg

salvador dali photo: The Persistence of Memory the_persistence_of_memory_1931_salvador_dali.jpg

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?
I like books like this, elaborate descriptions can help set the scene especially in this case because we are in Theo’s head. I loved the art history lessons from Theo’s mom and descriptions of a few paintings I have seen in real life before. I have seen the Goldfinch in “het Mauritshuis” in The Hague, and I think some of the pictures she described can be found there also.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?
I like the book so far and I feel so sorry for Theo.

Geri’s question:
Why do you think the author has Theo's Mother tell us about the various paintings in the museum? The story behind The Goldfinch painting and painter? We learn about Theo's Mother's photography and her love of these Dutch painters, any similarities?
The story of the The Goldfinch’s painter seemed to foreshadow what happened to Theo, he also lost something precious by way of an explosion and he gained the painting. I think the author lets Theo’s mother tell us about the paintings because we are hearing the story from Theo and I think she has taught him a lot about art by taking him to the museum and it is a way to teach us readers about the symbolism of paintings from the golden age. As far as similarities I don’t see them between the paintings and her photography, I believe she makes advertising pictures for jewelry that focuses on perfection, the paintings say that life cannot be perfect and forever there are always little flaws.


message 38: by Karen D (new)

Karen D | 785 comments Discussion Questions for Chapter 1 - 3

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?


I thought it was a really interesting approach, and made it easy to put the reader in his frame of mind. I expected, based on that comment, that Theo was going to have played a more active role in her death, more so than just being the reason she wasn't at work. Like, maybe he convinced her to go to the museum or to visit that certain exhibit or something along those lines. But the fact that he blamed himself really shows just how devoted to his mother he was, and how much he lost when he lost her, so heartbreaking.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up. Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)
Can't say that I have. Art has never really been my thing...

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?
It depends on the book. Some authors are so gifted that the storyline ends up coming second to the imagery they create. Not saying that the storyline is insignificant here, but it's still really enjoyable just to get immersed in the writing.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?
I really like it! More than I expected to. It's long but it's easy to read, and emotional and I'm really enjoying Theo as a character. Looking forward to what comes next!


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?

Oh, absolutely. I feel like everyone can empathize with that feeling of irrational guilt over an accident - even a little one. Reading the next few chapters knowing that even fourteen years later, he's still not over his mother's death, makes them hit even harder.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up. Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed the world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

I can't think of a particular work of art that's drawn a reaction like that from me, but I can say that the passages where Audrey describes the paintings in the museum made me want to learn more about art - her (or maybe the author's) way of breaking down the pieces of a work of art and explaining how they work together was amazing.

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

I am flailing over this writing. Oh my god. I live for writing like this - so tight and vivid and halfway dreamy and ugh. <3 <3 <3 This already feels like the kind of book I'll reread over and over and pick up new details each time.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?

Like Karen said, I'm enjoying immersing myself into all the detail and emotion, and I'm really looking forward to continuing now that the plot seems to be getting going a bit more.


message 40: by megan (new)

megan | 1350 comments Gahhh this book is so ridiculously over descriptive!!!


message 41: by Kay Kay (new)

Kay Kay | 1793 comments 1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?

It made me want to know what happened to his mother and how it could possibly be his fault, so yes.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up.
Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

I love to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I have not gone for a long time. I might need to plan a trip soon.
The Cat's Paw by Edwin Landseer is a painting the intrigues me. It makes me think about the capacity of man to be cruel and why it does not seem evident in animals. This painting is creepy and fascinating.
(I can't get the picture to copy here so here is a link. http://cat-chitchat.pictures-of-cats....)

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

I have enjoyed the book so far. The descriptions seem to relate to the story so I am not bothered by them. It seems to be well written and the story is moving along.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?

I like it.


message 42: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10171 comments Dang, I got behind. That means I can only post today's section questions tomorrow. Sorry, so sorry. Specially Imke because I'm overboarding her day.


message 43: by Cathy M. (new)

Cathy M. (mccathy77) | 5663 comments Discussion Questions for Chapter 1 - 3

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story? It was a little sad but did what I believe it intended - to draw you in, make you wonder what the story behind it was.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up. Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed the world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :) I'm sorry to say that I don't think I ever had any type of reaction to art. Actually now that I think about it, I know I've been to other types of museums (Natural History, Space, Holocaust, Korean War, etc) but I don't think I've ever been in an art museum O.o Growing up it was more about the music for me. And dance.

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike? Generally I'm more of a plot-driven reader rather than overly descriptive narratives so I don't need all the fluff.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far? So far I like it but because I've been listening to the audiobook, I feel like I'm missing some of it. I might have to switch to the ebook soon!


message 44: by Imke (new)

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments Sonia wrote: "Dang, I got behind. That means I can only post today's section questions tomorrow. Sorry, so sorry. Specially Imke because I'm overboarding her day."

I have finished my questions for chapters 6 and 7, do you want me to wait for you to post yours or can I post them today?


message 45: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10171 comments Imke wrote: "Sonia wrote: "Dang, I got behind. That means I can only post today's section questions tomorrow. Sorry, so sorry. Specially Imke because I'm overboarding her day."

I have finished my questions for..."


You can post them. I'm still trying to catch up - Bad Sonia - better to move on.


message 46: by Imke (new)

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments The Goldfinch, Discussion Questions chapters 6-7:

4. Why do you think Theo is keeping “The Goldfinch”? Is it really just because he is afraid to that he will be punished when he turns it in or is there another reason why he hangs on to it and keeps pulling it out of its hiding place to look at it?

5. What do you make of Theo’s remark that his father was doing an ok job raising him? I think that if his father was doing an ok job Theo wouldn’t be drinking nor doing drugs.

6. Theo has lost both of his parents. Do you think he is better off now that his father is gone and he ran away from Xandra? I wonder how he will end up and hope he will be ok with Hobie. What about you?

7. Do you think Xandra is right, is Theo just like his father? If he is, in what way?

8. We get to see a bit more of Pippa. What do you think of her? Is she going to play a bigger part in Theo’s life?

9. What do you think is the reason why Theo is feeling worthless and bad? Is it because he is holding on to the painting or is it the way he behaved in Las Vegas?

10. Will Theo ever turn the painting over to the authorities?



message 47: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie  | 194 comments The Goldfinch, Discussion Questions chapters 6-7:

4. Why do you think Theo is keeping “The Goldfinch”? Is it really just because he is afraid to that he will be punished when he turns it in or is there another reason why he hangs on to it and keeps pulling it out of its hiding place to look at it?


I think it is a connection to his mother and the past (good) life he had with her. Plus, I think he really connects to that goldfinch with the chain on his ankle. Life is tormenting the goldfinch but the goldfinch is facing it unflinchingly. It is something for Theo to aspire to.

5. What do you make of Theo’s remark that his father was doing an ok job raising him? I think that if his father was doing an ok job Theo wouldn’t be drinking nor doing drugs.

I think ok is relative. If he is used to walking on eggshells around his dad then he probably views his situation as acceptable. Plus, the drugs and alcohol are helping him to numb the real pain he is feeling, so it probably feels better even if as the reader we can say, "That's a terrible place to be!"

6. Theo has lost both of his parents. Do you think he is better off now that his father is gone and he ran away from Xandra? I wonder how he will end up and hope he will be ok with Hobie. What about you?

I think Hobie is a better influence than his father was, but I think his father has already started him down the bad path. I think Theo will be safe with Hobie and will do fine, but I think Theo is going to do something he shouldn't despite the care the Hobie shows. I think it is going to get worse before it gets better (if it gets better- remember, the goldfinch is chained in the painting).

7. Do you think Xandra is right, is Theo just like his father? If he is, in what way?

Well certainly in some aspects Theo is like his father. Theo's father turned to alcohol and then drugs to help blot out his own personal pain...just as Theo is doing now (the cycle continues). Also, when things got too hard for Theo's dad with Theo's mom and him, he skipped town. When things got hard for Theo in Las Vegas, he skipped town. There are a lot of the same patterns of behavior. Certainly, Theo's dad seemed to have the desire to do the right thing and couldn't pull it together. Theo doesn't even seem to have the desire to do the right thing right now. It will be interesting to see what happens.

8. We get to see a bit more of Pippa. What do you think of her? Is she going to play a bigger part in Theo’s life?

I think she is going to become like the painting to him- always in the background but never really the focus. He will probably care for her genuinely and not know what to do about it, given present patterns. I certainly hope that she helps him to deal with the emotions the explosion has given him since she went through it too, but it remains to be seen.

9. What do you think is the reason why Theo is feeling worthless and bad? Is it because he is holding on to the painting or is it the way he behaved in Las Vegas?

I don't think it has to do with either of those things. He is more worried about losing the painting than the fact that he took it and he certainly doesn't seem to regret the drinking/drugs in Vegas. He seems t want to continue it. I think he feels bad because he feels responsible for his mother's death (and now his father's) and because his father ignored him/abused him as a child, he probably would have felt a little worthless anyways. It's just the psychology of the kid- naturally prone to judge himself too harshly because of the issues wrought by his childhood.

10. Will Theo ever turn the painting over to the authorities?

It would be a really depressing book if Theo ended up having no redeeming qualities in the end. I have to hope he will try to return the painting, or will at least make an honest effort. Something. Even if he never gets over the bad habits he has developed, that would be nice. Will it happen? No clue. He could commit suicide in the end for all I know.


message 48: by Karen D (new)

Karen D | 785 comments The Goldfinch, Discussion Questions chapters 6-7:

4. Why do you think Theo is keeping “The Goldfinch”? Is it really just because he is afraid to that he will be punished when he turns it in or is there another reason why he hangs on to it and keeps pulling it out of its hiding place to look at it?

It seems that it's also a tie to his mother. He knew she loved that painting, and he thought she would appreciate him "rescuing" it, so it's something that keeps her fresh in his mind.

5. What do you make of Theo’s remark that his father was doing an ok job raising him? I think that if his father was doing an ok job Theo wouldn’t be drinking nor doing drugs.
Well, he was present, which was an improvement as to how he was before, so that's something? It's all relative I guess. He mentioned that they were able to bond more, and it certainly seemed to be a better situation than living in a hotel near his grandparents. And lots of kids drink and do drugs even with really stellar parents.

6. Theo has lost both of his parents. Do you think he is better off now that his father is gone and he ran away from Xandra? I wonder how he will end up and hope he will be ok with Hobie. What about you?
It's hard to say if he's better off now. It will really depend on what he does for himself at this point. Being in Vegas, he was caught up in this lifestyle that probably would have gotten him killed sooner rather than later. That could certainly still happen, but he at least has more of an opportunity to break the cycle he's been stuck in.

7. Do you think Xandra is right, is Theo just like his father? If he is, in what way?
Well, they both stole, and both deal with substance issues. They both also seem inclined to escape their problems instead of trying to face them. It's a bit unfair to compare them, since Theo is a kid and still has time to grow up, whereas his dad should have already grown up and been more responsible. But Theo does seem to be on a path to be very much like his father.

8. We get to see a bit more of Pippa. What do you think of her? Is she going to play a bigger part in Theo’s life?
I think she will play a bigger part. The fact that she's reappeared a couple times hints at that. Hard to say what to think of her now, since Theo didnt really get to interact with her all that much given how sick he was. It was interesting to see the roles reversed between them, compared to their last interaction. I'm also curious to know more about how her head injury affected her, if it's really that significant that she has to go to that special school or if her aunt just gave up in trying to find a suitable option for her.

9. What do you think is the reason why Theo is feeling worthless and bad? Is it because he is holding on to the painting or is it the way he behaved in Las Vegas?
Probably both. He was pretty terrible in Vegas, so hopefully he does feel bad about that. And he feels responsible for his dad's death, much in the same way he felt responsible for his mother's.

10. Will Theo ever turn the painting over to the authorities? My guess is that he will, but it will be much later, and that's what preempts his having to flee the country. In the prologue he wondered if there were articles in the paper about him, which would make sense if he was referring to the painting being recovered. It's making big news now so it would certainly be big news if recovered later.


message 49: by Sophie, The other one (new)

Sophie (drsophie) | 3373 comments Mod
Playing catch up via the audiobook version... Might stay behind for quite a while!

1. We are introduced to Theo's mother. He lets us know she has passed away, but hasn't given many details yet. The quote from the book seemed very relevant to anyone who has someone close to them pass away in an accident - “Her death was my fault. Other people have always been a little too quick to assure me that it wasn’t; and yes, only a kid, who could have known, terrible accident, rotten luck, could have happened to anyone, it’s all perfectly true and I don’t believe a word of it.” Does this help you put yourself in his shoes a bit, and draw you into the story?

I can sympathise a lot with the quote. It's not just when someone passes away through an accident - my mum died of cancer last year and I still look back and think could I have done more, is it my fault for not pushing her for help sooner etc. I've been fully drawn into the story and look forward to seeing how Theo got to the hotel in Amsterdam.

2. I loved the description by Theo's mother of the painting, The Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. I immediately had to look it up.
description
Have you ever had a visceral reaction to a work of art that altered the way you viewed t he world? Would love to see pics with your answer! :)

My OH and I love going to the wildlife photographer of the year exhibition and a lot of the photos from that do alter my perspective on the world and our place in it. Can't find any specifics to put in here though...

3. This book is FULL of quite elaborate descriptions and tons of detail. Do you enjoy books like this in general, or is this a new experience for you. What about the descriptions do you enjoy or dislike?

I'm enjoying this at the moment. My feelings about descriptions like this are very mood dependent, sometimes I can't cope with it at all, so will be interesting to see where this falls on the spectrum.

4. 3 chapters and 120 pages into such a long book - how are you enjoying it so far?
I'm enjoying it. Having to make sure I stayed zoned in while listening though as otherwise I could lose out on a lot of the details


message 50: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10171 comments So, my mom is at the hospital and she's going to stay there till at least the end of the week, meaning there is no way I'll be able to read, join the discussion or do DQ's.

Anyone wants to grab last section?

Thanks in advance


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