The Goldfinch is mostly a book that relates the life of Theodore Decker. It starts out when he was a young boy and he lost his mom in a tragic terrorist attack in a museum. He was in the museum himself and was lucky he was able to find a way out, along with a valuable painting that he found himself in possession of. What he carried with him was The Goldfinch, a painting by the Dutch painter Carel Fabritius.
“—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.”