Two things that are considered priceless are human life and master works of art. In The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt weaves a tragic and wondrous spell of a boy who loses his mother in a domestic terrorist bombing at a museum. In the confusion, he listens to a dying old man who was with a young girl he’d become intrigued by and steals a priceless 17th-century painting. We follow him through his despair and fears, until he can learn how to live with the trauma that stalks him from the explosion through the years of neglect, drug abuse, and low level criminal activity. Central to the story are questions about the power of art, and how art, like trauma, can anchor someone in the past and never let them grow until they learn let it go, but appreciate the pricelessness and fragility of both.