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Goldfinch readers...

...may be interested in this review by Francine Prose. She analyzes the critics' Dickensenian enthusiasm for Donna Tartt's book. The review is titled, "After Great Expectations." Interesting! True?  New York Review..

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Frankly, I'm just glad to see Carel Fabritius back in the spotlight.

I Just finished this and enjoyed it. I see some superficial similarities in the plotline with "Great Expectations" (and some touches of "Oliver Twist," plus borrowing the lawyer Bracegirdle's name from a Horatio Hornblower novel). But I don't see the social commentary that, to me, makes Dickens Dickens.

The way the main character and the painting of the tethered goldfinch are connected thematically is nicely done.

The epilogue section in which the main characters offers the Meaning of Life with References to the Painting is a little ham handed and overly long, but it does help us understand what the character has learned from his coming-of-age journey.

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.