The Secret History – Donna Tartt

When I started reading this The Secret History  I looked at many of the reviews. Many people stated that they could not get on with the book as they didn’t like the lead characters. They couldn’t relate to any of them. I have to agree the main characters are deplorable throughout. There was not one I had a connection with or felt I could be friends with. However, that didn’t stop me from loving the book. The story is so engaging it doesn’t matter whether you like the characters or not, the story still flows.

Having said how much I loved the novel it still took me a while to read. The prose is so in-depth and beautifully written you need to take your time to enjoy it. The novel features around a group of young people who go to college and study Greek, with the enigmatic Julian Marrow. The group is made up of our narrator Richard, Francis, Henry, Bunny and the twins Charles and Camilla. All are as spoilt as each other. The book follows their lives as they go through 3 years of college and through the death of Bunny. No spoiler there you find that out in the first page.

The story continues through the repercussions of Bunny’s death and how they cope. The book includes beautiful quotes from both English and Greek literature. As much as it is a good read, it is a book lovers book through the references and quotes to literature past.

“he clung to it with a fierce Pavlovian tenacity.”

There are also many thought-provoking quotes. These could have you and your book club talking for years.

“But the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves.”

I loved this book and enjoyed reading it. I look forward to trying more by Donna Tartt when I have the time to once again revel in her prose. I urge you to ignore the negative reviews and take a walk in ancient Greek with The Secret History.


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