“—if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.”
– Donna Tartt
The impact of art in our lives is examined in this story by looking at just how much impact can be made by one little painting of a bird. The book opens with a tragic accident in a museum that kills young Theo’s mother and continues on to show how that day shapes the rest of his life. From working in an antique store to befriending a darkly hilarious boy named Boris who exposes him to the world of crime.
The characters in this book are vivid. It was one that I felt sad to finish because it felt as if I was in the middle of interesting conversations with all of them, and turning the last page meant they would be over.
This book is long, but I flew through it. It starts in New York, spends some time in the deserts of Nevada, and ends up in Amsterdam. Fast-paced and engaging, but deep in all of the right ways, I will forever come back to this one.