Novel: The Secret History
Author: Donna Tartt
Source: OC Public Library
The story of this novel is simple. We have a group of college students, close friends, who murder a man by mistake. Then, they kill again to keep their first crime a secret. And don’t get caught even for the second murder. Followed by the repercussions of these murders on their lives.
A very long book, just like “The GoldFinch“.
The audiobook is worse. It took a long time to get a handle on the narrator’s speech. I had half a mind to borrow the hardcover for this one. I would recommend going for the hardcover if you plan to read this one.
It’s tough to write about this one. My thoughts are all jumbled up. Still, let me try.
The characters are the backbone of this novel. The main characters are Richard Papen, Camilla Macaulay, Francis Abernathy, Julian Morrow, Charles Macaulay, Henry Winter, and Bunny Corcoran. Study of all of them is essential to understand the reasons behind the murders. They are written in a style that makes them either relatable or mysterious. The three characters that stuck with me are of Richard, Bunny, and Henry.
Richard is the one narrating his story. The way Richard narrates his teenage years and first few months of college took me back to mine. Richard lies about his family and wealth to fit in with his wealthy friends. Something we see a lot of people do.
Bunny’s parents had never supported him financially. So he has devised his own ways to live off others especially his wealthy friends. He is intuitive about others weaknesses and tipping point and uses them to his advantage. He would pick on them in public in front of everyone. It is so easy to see why he is unpopular among his friends.
Henry is still a mystery to me. He comes off as a genius, leader, master manipulator, sometimes evil, psychopath, and charismatic at different points in the novel. After the novel, I felt that he was the reason this novel was written. His initiative led to the first murder. His mistakes leak the secret of their crime. When he believes their secret can come out, he first convinces the group to kill the source who can send them to jail. Then he plans and executes the second murder. In the end, he is the reason the group disintegrates.
In the end, I would recommend this novel, only if you like to study characters. If you like a mystery, don’t go for this one.
Have you read this novel? If yes, What are your thoughts on this novel?
Thanks for stopping by. Till next post, Happy reading!