The Secret History
by Donna Tartt
Genres: Fiction / Literary
“It is easy to see things in retrospect. But I was ignorant then of everything but my own happiness, and I don’t know what else to say except that life itself seemed very magical in those days: a web of symbol, coincidence, premonition, omen. Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together – my future, my past, the whole of my life – and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!“
“…the original American campus novel.”
A group of quirky outcasts at an American college form bonds over their shared interest in Ancient Greek. But when their behaviour becomes obsessive and dangerous, how will their choices shape their futures and friendship?
I had heard/read a lot of things about this book, and the two things that stood out to me where that it was a modern classic and often one of people’s favourite books, and that autumn was the best time to read it.
Well I didn’t read it over autumn, winter rather, but I can totally see the sentiment behind the autumn thing. Something about this book is so cosy. I feel like I curled up with these characters for a lifetime.
I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of dialogue in this story, which I really enjoyed. I feel like a closer witness to the movements and personalities of the characters when I’m reading their interactions with each other, so the dialogue really helped to draw me in to the whole scene.
There was a lot to enjoy here – there was mystery, suspense, drama, questions and themes to mull over… I can see why it’s rated so highly for many people. My only gripe with it really was that I thought it was too long (my edition was 629 pages). Now for some, this would be a drawcard, and while I like to think that I like big books, in actual fact I think I really struggle with the time commitment that they demand! I couldn’t help it, I have a tendency to want to speed through the pieces of the plot and find out what the conclusion is. It appears I’m definitely more of a short-and-sweet kind of reader.
So while I wouldn’t rank this among my favourite reads, and most likely would not read it again, I did enjoy the ride and rated it highly on Goodreads. Well worth it.
Did not like it – It was ok – Liked it – Really liked it – It was amazing