The Secret History: Novela

5 out of 5 stars

Fell into the fever dream that is Donna Tartt’s masterpiece–be still, my heart.

Yes, I have a penchant for campus novels (think The Marriage Plot, The Secret Place, Prep, my favorite Harry Potter book), but the lonely descriptors of Vermont in winter, the curious affectations of this group of misfits–the murder woven into the narrative tension–the perfection of Henry’s sacrifice–all remind me that we’re all too human. We’re all too fallible. The echoes of those we have lost last just as long, if not longer, then their presence. Everyone in this book is deeper and darker than what one realizes, and it really makes you see that dread in yourself.

I’m not a Greek scholar, though speaking to the narrative’s plot through Julian’s lessons is very clever. One could expect no less from Donna Tartt.

Plus, her name is everything.

The Little Friend and The Goldfinch, I would read next, in that order. Tartt struggles with ending novels, as if they are such great fun it’s hard to let go. You see this the least in The Secret History.

Enjoy with some good chocolate–and follow up by obsessively Googling Tartt’s signature style.

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