“I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.” The Secret History is an all- encompassing tale revealing the dark side of classical academia. This book is a MOOD.
First, let me expound on the aesthetic of this book. Set in a New England college town, this is an early 90’s ish (I enjoy pay phones) slow paced thriller rich in characterization. Richard (the narrator), Henry, Camilla, Charles, Frances, and Bunny, under the influential tutelage of their revered professor, Julian, embark on a life-altering study of Classical Greek literature.
Enthralling is the snowy world of vintage fashion and the cool resolve evoked among this monied college set. Their involvement in Ancient Greek rituals leads to a dark and irrevocable act unveiled slowly over the course of 500 plus pages.
If you love period pieces and don’t mind long reads, add this to your TBR. There is quite a bit of sensationalism I can’t mention without spoiling the plot. Tartt is such a patient writer and image-rich storyteller; 4/5 stars.
Disclaimer: the audio book narrated by Tartt herself is my medium of choice…highly recommend.