It’s time for my last review of the year, and I’m ending it on a high note. I devoured The Secret History the week before Christmas. I couldn’t put it down. It’s definitely my favorite of the year. Let’s talk about it.
A group of students at Hampden College have found a way to live outside of the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. When Richard earns a spot in the elite classics class he enters a world of luxury, corruption, betrayal, and evil intentions.
My Thoughts on The Secret History
After reading Ninth House, I’ve been on the hunt for another dark academia book to satisfy me. The Maidens came close but was still missing something. But The Secret History was everything I wanted. The characters were so developed. They felt like real people. And she executed unlikable characters perfectly. They were all relatively selfish, manipulative people, but at times I felt sympathy for them. I also had mixed emotions toward the narrator. I think he got mixed into the wrong crowd, but his actions advanced Henry’s plan even though he didn’t actively participate.
The detailed characterizations led to an intense exploration into the emotions of the characters, but it was done in an interesting way. Richard, obviously, told his emotions. But since everything was told from Richard’s viewpoint the author showed how the other characters were feeling through their actions. They didn’t have to say how they felt. It was obvious.
Lastly, the ending was haunting. I never expected that reaction. I could tell something big was coming but I never would have guessed that. Then the final meeting of the friends was heartbreaking. I’ve never felt such sympathy for morally grey characters. Everything about The Secret History was stunning.
My Rating: 5/5