Book Review: The Secret History


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A brief summary, attempted without any spoilers. Richard Papen, from California but moves to a small private university in Vermont. There he meets an eccentric, isolated, and clever group of students in the Greek program. In their company and that of ancient texts, they distance themselves from contemporary life. However, tipping dangerously over the edge of obsession and betrayal in their hunt to experience life beyond the boundaries of mortality.

I picked up this book because I had heard good things about it. I will now pass on these good words to you. I highly recommend this book. I loved it the first time I read it and since then have read once again and will absolutely read it a third time. Absolutely one of, if not, my favourite book. It is a rather long read, but I couldn’t put it down the entire time I was reading it. As much as I loved the book, it’s not for everyone. It’s not action-filled and takes a little while to get to the main plot, however, I loved every moment of it. The characters are incredibly well- written. The writing is not exactly simple, but it is not a difficult read at all. Think, if a classic was written in modern language. It’s filled with lots of descriptive scenes and brings you deeply into the world and special atmosphere of the story. The book brings you into an altered version of the life you’re used to, without employing any fantastical elements. Despite its length and its writing style it was never boring or felt like it was droning on. The aura of the book is similar to that of the Dead Poets Society movie, if you enjoy that sort of plot, I would absolutely recommend this book to you.