I decided to venture into a very different read for me. Today I’ll talk about my thoughts on The Secret History (pt. A História Secreta), by Donna Tartt.
Donna Tartt came to my attention a few years ago, when her book, The Goldfinch, took the world by storm. The sheer size of her works always gave me anxiety since, recently, me and big books don’t really get along. But The Secret History is pretty much on the top 10 of all my friends! That was reason enough to make me want to get the book! And it was available on the library so, win win!
The author of this book is almost a mystery. She doesn’t have that many interviews and even then she doesn’t share a lot. I didn’t even know she was american until I read the little biography included in this edition! She writes a book every decade, only having three published so far. But that doesn’t stop her from having several awards and incredible praise in all of the books.
This particular title focus on Richard Papen, who leaves his California home to go study in Vermont. He then enrols in Greek and meets a very peculiar group of five people. They are a very closed group, and even more so, when something terrible happens and needs to stay a secret.
What most popped out from this book to me was the writing. Oh boy, is it beautiful and poetic. The author so well guides us through the read, I could read 100 pages without even moving from my seat once! There’s not a lot of things happening in this book but they take their time do be told. They are portrait with such detail and carefulness.
There’s a beautifully constructed atmosphere in this book. It’s so mysterious and dark. I couldn’t help but feel uneasy while reading it and almost immerse in permanent (and maybe not that metaphorical) mist! I was constantly tense and wondering when things would go wrong.
Because that’s the general feel during the whole books. You know bad things will happen soon. And I guess that’s because every single character is pretty much a terrible person, just asking for trouble. I truly disliked everyone, specially Camila. But I got the same unsettling feeling for everyone (except from maybe Richard, the protagonist).
My only problem with this book was the first part. Although I read it in a breeze, it was very very slow. And everything important that happen was told to us by someone, the narrator (which is the protagonist) isn’t present in anything. This is my biggest pet peeve in books lately. I want to experience everything, not hearing from it. But the second part is very very good! It’s so addicting! And I loved the ending! Everyone got what they deserved.
Anyway, I’m so thrilled to read Tartt’s other two books now! The library has them all so when I stopped being scared by the size of them, I’ll definitely pick them up! I’m most curious for The Goldfinch, of course.
One of my favourite quotes and that perfectly describes this book is:
Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.
Tell me if you’re read this and what you though of it!
See you soon,