Q:

What is the plot synopsis of "The Goldfinch?"?

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Quick Answer

"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt tells the story of Theodore Decker whose mother dies in a terrorist attack on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Theodore's mother is explaining to him how much she loves the Carel Fabritius painting called "The Goldfinch" when the bomb explodes, killing her.

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Full Answer

Theodore steals the painting from the rubble of the art museum because he believes a dying man told him to. After the blast at the Met, Theodore stays with a friend for a few months before his long absent father appears and takes Theodore to Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, Theodore learns that his father is heavily indebted to a Russian crime syndicate. Theodore's father tries to get his son to obtain the money from his mother's estate in order to pay off his debt. Theodore escapes with his friend Boris.

The story jumps ahead eight years, at which point Theodore is an adult working at an antique store where he sells fake antiques. Theodore still has possession of "The Goldfinch." However, Theodore learns that his friend Boris stole the original from Theodore years ago and sold it to criminal art dealers.

This sends Theodore on a journey to Amsterdam with Boris, where the pair work to get the original "The Goldfinch" back. Eventually, Boris calls the police and informs them who has the priceless painting. The story ends with Theodore traveling around the world to buy back the fake antiques that he sold in order to make amends.

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