I’ve just finished reading two books. Both were a delight and are highly recommended. The first – Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” – is a monster tome at nearly 800 pages but Tartt is brilliant and this modern-day David Copperfield had me hooked.
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother and leaves him with a priceless work of art called ‘The Goldfinch’, which is to be the bane of his life. This Pulitzer prize-winning novel is a journey through life, love and art. I wish I’d a better understanding of art; I could have connected with this novel even better. But it’s still worth it.
From New York to across the Atlantic in 1950s England. Alan Bradley’s “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” is set in the Buckshaw mansion, where 11-year-old Flavia de Luce gets embroiled in a murder mystery. Flavia is no saint; she knows her poisons; and she could flummox Hercule Poirot.
Just who is that stranger who died in the cucumber patch after eating a piece of custard pie? Flavia will find out and this precocious detective makes it a perfect debut for her 70-something Canadian creator — mystery writer Alan Bradley. Make no mistake; this is not a children’s book. Flavia just happens to be the pre-teen protagonist of a book for murder-mystery-loving adults. There are more books in the Flavia de Luce series and I intend to read them all.