The Next Chapter

Megan Bonnell on life's magical moments

Alternative folk musician Megan Bonnell has been reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Megan Bonnell is an alternative folk singer-songwriter. She's currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. (Little, Brown and Company/Jen Squires)

Singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell is hitting the road this month to promote her latest album, Magnolia. She talked to The Next Chapter about the book that is on her "currently reading" list — The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

The Goldfinch takes place in New York The Main character is named Theo Decker — he's 13 years old and he's kind of recounting his life so far. He's living with his mother, and the two of them decide to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Dutch exhibit of masterpieces, which includes his mother's favourite piece of art, which is known as "The Goldfinch". But while they're there, a terrorist attack occurs, killing his mother, leaving him completely confused and panicked and concussed. He grabs the painting off the wall and makes a run for it. He does it to keep close to his mother. He thinks it's kind of the only remaining connection, but it inhibits him from moving on and freeing himself to grow up.

The book resonated with me so much because it was a testament to the power of art. My favourite quote from the book is "You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can look at a picture for a second and think of it for the rest of your life." And to me, that rang so true with a song, with music, with certain people in your life or moments in time. It's like you can't control the impact that something's going to have on you, but there's such a magic in that. And I love that.

Megan Bonnell's comments have been edited and condensed.