This story has easily become one of my favorite books of all time. That’s how good it is. When I finally finished it, I was taken aback. I never wanted the world of The Secret History to end.
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
Once again, I have fallen in love with Tartt’s lengthy descriptions that submerge you into the story. I felt a strong desire to find this enchanting school tucked away in Vermont and sit in a Greek college class.
The premise of the book involves Richard, a California native, who decides to major in Classics studies on the other side of the country. He becomes part of a selective group of five with Julian, the oddball/charismatic professor. Set apart from the rest of the university, Richard entangles himself with the others, who personify the Greeks themselves.
Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw’, that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.
The stars of the show are the group of insanely brilliant people that Richard finds himself enamored with. Henry, Charles, Camilla, Francis, and Bunny. Each character is unique and charming, but there is something that makes them all off-kilter just a bit. (A lot a bit.)
The story unfolds with the characters’ allure of a secret history they have written that ties them all together, forever. Spoiler: it involves murder.
And the nights, bigger than imagining: black and gusty and enormous, disordered and wild with stars.
At a few different points I thought the story was over, and then something happens and adds another layer to a complex situation. The brilliance of Tartt lies with keeping the reader captured by giving you just a taste of the secrecy, so you end up wanting to know more.
Honestly I could ramble on and on about this book and how much I loved it. Instead, I’ll tell you that you need to add this to your reading list immediately.
‘Are you happy here?’ I said at last. He considered this for a moment. ‘Not particularly,’ he said. ‘But you’re not very happy where you are, either.’