The internets have told me that this week is National Margarita Week! The perfect inspiration for me to get back to cocktails on bookcooker. This little hot ticket is a chili grapefruit margarita. The perfect drink as the dreary winter drags on. If you are like me and did not plan a tropical vacation to help get you through it (or maybe you live in Southern California or Florida - damn you!), this drink can help dull the pain... for one night at least!
If I could make a dish with vodka, Oxycontin and tragedy that would be
perfect for Donna Tartt's engrossing and heartbreaking The Goldfinch.
Tartt is one of my favorite authors - but she is rare among
contemporary novelists in that she takes about 10 years per book.
Undoubtedly the anticipation adds to the enjoyment of her books, and it
is the anticipation that powers the reader through her hefty tomes.
The Goldfinch is like those before it is long - but it is worth the effort and I different in some ways from Tartt's previous works. What I loved about
The Secret History and The Little Friend was the hidden mystery and
subtle but constant sinister atmosphere underlying the story. With The Goldfinch Tartt adds something else to the mix - a character that the reader really emotionally connects to - Theo Decker. Many reviewers have dubbed The Goldfinch "Dickensian" and there certainly is that spirit in this book - it spans many years, has a wide array of eccentric and interesting characters and most importantly tells the coming of age story of an orphan. Theo is a young pre-teen who lives in New York with his beautiful and engaging single mother. On their way to a parent teacher conference at Theo's school the mother-son pair stop at the Metropolitan Museum to peruse a collection of Dutch artwork Theo's mother was interested in. A huge bomb explodes during their visit - Theo's mother is killed but Theo miraculously survives. But with his mother's death (and the unreliability and absence of his father) he becomes like an orphan if not literally one. The book traces Theo's coming of age and entrance into adulthood - documenting how the trauma of the bombing and the loss of his mother scars his every moment thereafter. This welsh rarebit pictured above represents one of the rare good and comforting things in Theo's life - his friendship and eventual home with a quiet quirky antique dealer known as Hobie. More about the book and the dish after the jump.