It is terribly disappointing to dislike a book that you expected to love. To be fair, I didn't exactly dislike The Goldfinch--there are captivating moments and characters and scenes. But Tartt has a tendency to meander, and there are long stretches of the novel that just aren't particularly interesting. And then the last several pages (I read it on my Kindle, so I can't say exactly how many) consist of Donna Tartt taking her many plot strands into her hands and desperately trying to weave them into something with Deep Philosophical Meaning. I liked her final paragraph but wow did it take her a while to get there; the final chapter of the book read as though she'd been assigned a twenty-page term paper but had only fifteen pages' worth of thoughts. It's hard to believe that a book ten years in the making needed more time to marinate, but that's the conclusion I came to.