I was hoping to like this book much more than I did, but alas! the only characters I cared anything about were Popper the dog, a couple of secondary characters unwittingly caught up in the train wreck of Theo Decker's life, and the title painting (which does indeed take on the significance of a character in the book). The writing style, while absolutely gorgeous at times, often drove me a little batty with all the fragments and the run-on sentences that spanned entire paragraphs, and the pacing made this feel like a much longer book than it actually is. The ending left me a bit dissatisfied, mainly because I kind of wanted most everyone to burn at the end.
I seem to have bad luck with modern day Pulitzer Prize winners (Tinkers and I didn't get along so well either). Maybe I should just steer clear of them. I think I'll be steering clear of Donna Tartt books in the future, especially if they're as bleak as this one or have equally unsympathetic main characters.