Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Goldfinch and The Little Friend, Both of which are international bestsellers
Date of Birth:December 23, 1963
Place of Birth:Greenwood, Mississippi
Education:Attended University of Mississippi; B.A., Bennington College, 1986
Read an Excerpt
THE SNOW in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. He’d been dead for ten days before they found him, you know. It was one of the biggest manhunts in Vermont history—state troopers, the FBI, even an army helicopter; the college closed, the dye factory in Hampden shut down, people coming from New Hampshire, upstate New York, as far away as Boston.
It is difficult to believe that Henry’s modest plan could have worked so well despite these unforeseen events. We hadn’t intended to hide the body where it couldn’t be found. In fact, we hadn’t hidden it at all but had simply left it where it fell in hopes that some luckless passer-by would stumble over it before anyone even noticed he was missing. This was a tale that told itself simply and well: the loose rocks, the body at the bottom of the ravine with a clean break in the neck, and the muddy skidmarks of dug-in heels pointing the way down; a hiking accident, no more, no less, and it might have been left at that, at quiet tears and a small funeral, had it not been for the snow that fell that night; it covered him without a trace, and ten days later, when the thaw finally came, the state troopers and the FBI and the searchers from the town all saw that they had been walking back and forth over his body until the snow above it was packed down like ice.
It is difficult to believe that such an uproar took place over an act for which I was partially responsible, even more difficult to believe I could have walked through it—the cameras, the uniforms, the black crowds sprinkled over Mount Cataract like ants in a sugar bowl—without incurring a blink of suspicion. But walking through it all was one thing; walking away, unfortunately, has proved to be quite another, and though once I thought I had left that ravine forever on an April afternoon long ago, now I am not so sure. Now the searchers have departed, and life has grown quiet around me, I have come to realize that while for years I might have imagined myself to be somewhere else, in reality I have been there all the time: up at the top by the muddy wheel-ruts in the new grass, where the sky is dark over the shivering apple blossoms and the first chill of the snow that will fall that night is already in the air.
What are you doing up here? said Bunny, surprised, when he found the four of us waiting for him.
Why, looking for new ferns, said Henry.
And after we stood whispering in the underbrush—one last look at the body and a last look round, no dropped keys, lost glasses, everybody got everything?—and then started single file through the woods, I took one glance back through the saplings that leapt to close the path behind me. Though I remember the walk back and the first lonely flakes of snow that came drifting through the pines, remember piling gratefully into the car and starting down the road like a family on vacation, with Henry driving clench-jawed through the potholes and the rest of us leaning over the seats and talking like children, though I remember only too well the long terrible night that lay ahead and the long terrible days and nights that followed, I have only to glance over my shoulder for all those years to drop away and I see it behind me again, the ravine, rising all green and black through the saplings, a picture that will never leave me.
I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.
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.
A moi. L’histoire d’une de mes folies.
My name is Richard Papen. I am twenty-eight years old and I had never seen New England or Hampden College until I was nineteen. I am a Californian by birth and also, I have recently discovered, by nature. The last is something I admit only now, after the fact. Not that it matters.
I grew up in Plano, a small silicon village in the north. No sisters, no brothers. My father ran a gas station and my mother stayed at home until I got older and times got tighter and she went to work, answering phones in the office of one of the big chip factories outside San Jose.
Plano. The word conjures up drive-ins, tract homes, waves of heat rising from the blacktop. My years there created for me an expendable past, disposable as a plastic cup. Which I suppose was a very great gift, in a way. On leaving home I was able to fabricate a new and far more satisfying history, full of striking, simplistic environmental influences; a colorful past, easily accessible to strangers.
The dazzle of this fictive childhood—full of swimming pools and orange groves and dissolute, charming show-biz parents—has all but eclipsed the drab original. In fact, when I think about my real childhood I am unable to recall much about it at all except a sad jumble of objects: the sneakers I wore year-round; coloring books and comics from the supermarket; little of interest, less of beauty. I was quiet, tall for my age, prone to freckles. I didn’t have many friends but whether this was due to choice or circumstance I do not now know. I did well in school, it seems, but not exceptionally well; I liked to read—Tom Swift, the Tolkien books—but also to watch television, which I did plenty of, lying on the carpet of our empty living room in the long dull afternoons after school.
I honestly can’t remember much else about those years except a certain mood that permeated most of them, a melancholy feeling that I associate with watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights. Sunday was a sad day—early to bed, school the next morning, I was constantly worried my homework was wrong—but as I watched the fireworks go off in the night sky, over the floodlit castles of Disneyland, I was consumed by a more general sense of dread, of imprisonment within the dreary round of school and home: circumstances which, to me at least, presented sound empirical argument for gloom. My father was mean, and our house ugly, and my mother didn’t pay much attention to me; my clothes were cheap and my haircut too short and no one at school seemed to like me that much; and since all this had been true for as long as I could remember, I felt things would doubtless continue in this depressing vein as far as I could foresee. In short: I felt my existence was tainted, in some subtle but essential way.
I suppose it’s not odd, then, that I have trouble reconciling my life to those of my friends, or at least to their lives as I perceive them to be. Charles and Camilla are orphans (how I longed to be an orphan when I was a child!) reared by grandmothers and great-aunts in a house in Virginia: a childhood I like to think about, with horses and rivers and sweet-gum trees. And Francis. His mother, when she had him, was only seventeen—a thin-blooded, capricious girl with red hair and a rich daddy, who ran off with the drummer for Vance Vane and his Musical Swains. She was home in three weeks, and the marriage was annulled in six; and, as Francis is fond of saying, the grandparents brought them up like brother and sister, him and his mother, brought them up in such a magnanimous style that even the gossips were impressed—English nannies and private schools, summers in Switzerland, winters in France. Consider even bluff old Bunny, if you would. Not a childhood of reefer coats and dancing lessons, any more than mine was. But an American childhood. Son of a Clemson football star turned banker. Four brothers, no sisters, in a big noisy house in the suburbs, with sailboats and tennis rackets and golden retrievers; summers on Cape Cod, boarding schools near Boston and tailgate picnics during football season; an upbringing vitally present in Bunny in every respect, from the way he shook your hand to the way he told a joke.
I do not now nor did I ever have anything in common with any of them, nothing except a knowledge of Greek and the year of my life I spent in their company. And if love is a thing held in common, I suppose we had that in common, too, though I realize that might sound odd in light of the story I am about to tell.
How to begin.
What People are Saying About This
“The Secret History succeeds magnificently. . . . A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment. . . . Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.” The New York Times
“An accomplished psychological thriller. . . . Absolutely chilling. . . . Tartt has a stunning command of the lyrical.” The Village Voice
“Beautifully written, suspenseful from start to finish.” Vogue
“A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction. . . . Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth.” The Times (London)
“Her writing bewitches us. . . . The Secret History is a wonderfully beguiling book, a journey backward to the fierce and heady friendships of our school days, when all of us believed in our power to conjure up divinity and to be forgiven any sin.” The Philadephia Inquirer
“Enthralling. . . . A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously wll-paced entertainment. . . . Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.” The New York Times Book Review
“A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read, pleasurably devoured. . . . .Gorgeously written, relentlessly erudite.” –Vanity Fair
Reading Group Guide
1. Richard states that he ended up at Hampden College by a
"trick of fate." What do you think of this statement? Do you
believe in fate?
2. When discussing Bacchae and the Dionysiac ritual with his
students Julian states, "We don't like to admit it, but the idea
of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such
as ourselves more than almost anything. All truly civilized
people--the ancients no less than us--have civilized themselves
through the willful repression of the old, animal self"
(p. 38). What is your opinion of this theory? Are we all atracted
to that which is forbidden? Do we all secretly wish we
could let ourselves go and act on our animal instincts? Is it true
that "beauty is terror"?
3. "I suppose there is a certain crucial interval in everyone's life
when character is fixed forever: for me, it was that first fall
term spent at Hampden" (p. 80). Did you have such a "crucial
interval" in your life? What/when was it?
4. In the idyllic beginning it is easy to see why Richard is drawn
to the group of Greek scholars. It is only after they begin to unravel
that we see the sinister side of each of the characters. Do
you think any one of the characters possesses true evil? Is there
such a thing as "true evil, " or is there something redeeming in
5. In the beginning of the novel, Bunny's behavior is at times endearing
and at others maddening. What was your initial opinion
of Bunny? Does it change as the story develops?
6. At times Bunny, with his selfish behavior, seems devoidof
a conscience, yet he is the most disturbed by the murder
of the farmer. Is he more upset because he was "left out" of the
group or because he feels what happened is wrong?
7. Henry says to Richard, ". . . my life, for the most part, has
been very stale and colorless. Dead, I mean. The world has
always been an empty place to me. I was incapable of enjoying
even the simplest things. I felt dead in everything I did. . . . But
then it changed . . . The night I killed that man" (p. 463). How
does Henry's reaction compare to that of the others involved
in the murder(s)? Do you believe he feels remorse for what he
8. Discuss the significance of the scene in which Henry wipes his
muddy hand across his shirt after throwing dirt onto Bunny's
coffin at the funeral (p. 395).
9. List some of the signs that foreshadowed the dark turn of
events. Would you have seen all the signs that Richard initially
misses? Or do you believe Richard knew all along and just refused
to see the truth?
10. Would you have stuck by the group after learning their dark
11. The author states that many people didn't sympathize with
Richard. Did you find him a sympathetic character?
12. What do you make of Richard's unrequited love for Camilla?
Do you feel that she loved him in return? Or did she use his
love for her as a tool to manipulate him?
13. Do you feel the others used Richard as a pawn? If so, how?
14. What do you feel is the significance of Julian's toast "Live forever"
15. The author mentions a quote supposedly made by George Orwell
regarding Julian: "Upon meeting Julian Morrow, one has
the impression that he is a man of extraordinary sympathy and
warmth. But what you call his 'Asiatic Serenity' is, I think,
a mask for great coldness" (p. 480). What is your opinion of
16. Do you think that Julian feels he is somewhat responsible for
the murder of Bunny? Is that why he doesn't turn the group in
when he discovers the truth from Bunny's letter?
17. What causes Julian to flee? Is it because of disappointment in
his young protegees or in himself?
18. While the inner circle of characters (Richard, Charles, Camilla,
Henry, Francis, and the ill-fated Bunny) are the center of this
tale, those on the periphery are equally important in their own
ways (Judy Poovey, Cloke Rayburn, Marion, and so on). Discuss
the roles of these characters.
19. The rights for The Secret History were initially purchased by
director/producer/screenwriter Alan J. Paluka (All The President's
Men, The Pelican Brief), and they are currently with
director Scott Hicks (Shine, Snow Falling on Cedars). What
are your feelings about making the novel into a movie? Who
would play the main characters if you were to cast it?
20. What is the meaning of Richard's final dream?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What makes 'The Secret History' such a compelling book is its daring to examine the consequences of the arrogance of intellectual superiority, something I struggled with in my youth, something which I sometimes find myself struggling with today. Those of us who were products of accelerated academic programs, who fell under the auspicious acronmym AP (for Advanced Placement) often felt removed from our peers and masked our underlying feelings of inferiority as erudite superiority. It is a defence mechanism many of us used when young,and sometimes continue to use as a means we tell ourselves of making us feel better about who we are. The students in TSH, even the sympathetic narrator Richard Papen, exemplify these ideas and the impulses these feelings cause them to act out are shown as having the direst of moral consequences to which they as a group and individually must answer for. The pleasures of intellectual stimulation coupled with the psychological underpinings of the deed done and how it is played out give TSH its literary resonance. In addition the book provides a builti in mystery of its own--namely the literary future, or if there is to be one, of its author, Donna Tartt. Upon a first reading nearly ten years ago, I embraced TSH and Donna Tartt as a voice I wanted to hear more of--a voice which has been noticeably and mysteriously silent, which has only served to build up the legend, and rumors of an impending second novel sometime next year. This remains to be seen but TSH continues to remain a book I turn to time and again for its exploration of moral arrogance and the destruction such attitudes can incur.
I read it 3 years ago and im back looking it up hoping to find some clues to another, similar book. I have found some people seem to not like it and that baffles me. Great mystery, suspense. I was genuinely sad it was finished when it was over.
A really tense mystery; well-defined characters. You want to reach out and implore them to stop. Intelligence and narcissism and exclusivity and wealth and bored youth are a dangerous mix.
Sex, Murder, and Mystery, rich spoiled college kids take life for granted and ends up screwing it all up. Everyone has had that loathing at some point when you just wish that reality will slap someone in the face that really deserved it. Well here's your chance! Donna Tartt shows us the lives of Henry, Francis, Richard, Charles, Camilla, and Bunny and with such finesse describes the life in a Vermont college for these spoiled snobs. But wait...the characters tend to come to life thanks to Tartt's writing and we really hope that things work out for them in the end, but part of us just wants to drop an anvil on their heads! The descriptions that Tartt provides are incredible to say the least and the period of winter helplessness that Richard experiences chills you to the bone. "This was, I should say, about the third week in January. The thermometer was droping; my life, which before had been only solitary and miserable, became unbearable. Every day, in a daze, I walked to and from work, sometimes during weather that was ten or twenty below, sometimes during storms so heavy that all I could see was white, and the only way I made it home at all was by keeping close to the guard rail on the side if the road. Once home, I wrapped myself in my dirty blankets and fell on the floor like a dead man. All my moments were not consumed with efforts to escape the cold were absorbed with morbid Poe-like fancies. One night, in a dream, I saw my own corpse, hair stiff with ice and eyes wide open." I actually had to dress warmer while reading his experience in a cold dark apartment. Throughout the book you know Richard will witness some shocking discovery of what is really happening, and thanks to Tartt again this isn't just dropped on us suddenly. She rather slowly reveals each secret such subtleness that it builds to the climax in a way that you feel for these characters even though they are such selfish snobs. This is one of my favorite reads this year and will reside on my shelf for years to come.
The Secret History is an enigmatic blend of psychological thrills, an astoundingly complex, but realistic plot, and a rich vocabulary not often found in this day and age, wrapped in the wonder of Greek poetry and language. Upon my arrival of Julian's study room, I was instantly transported into a world shrouded in mystery. One characterized by dimly-lit lamps and persian rugs. By whispered betrayals behind callous-free hands and the eloquent discussions of one well-versed in the philosophies of the ancient world. Reading Tartt's work of literature was a quite enjoyable experience as she merged a world long gone with the one presently existing. She showed us beauty by kissing death. Showed us horror through fascination. She took all the elements of loathing, passion, revenge, morality, enlightenment, and unthinkable acts and mixed them around and around until you can no longer discern one from the other. Until you see that beauty and terror are one and the same. Not only does Tartt expertley portray this, but she does so with her uncanny ability to bring her characters to life, so that they might walk off the page at any given moment. If I was to summarize the plot right at this very moment, you would wonder at the sanity of the characters. However, should you read this literature in its entirety, you should find yourself just as confused and scared as the murderers themselves. I should like to reiterate one last time the beauty of the language used. I feel that much of our language today has been greatly reduced and watered down from, say, Shakespeare's age. A time when the crafting of words was regarded as an art form. With this novel, I believe Tartt was able to recapture some of that beauty that so many of our more recent novels have been missing. I truly loved this novel and find it completley worthy of the accolades it has recieved. This is not a light read, but if you're willing to endure a few late nights and a few hours lost sleep, I promise this is a book you won't want to put down.
THE SECRET HISTORY is that rarity published in recent years, a mainstream novel that deals with murder but not the usual ho-hum mystery formula. I was drawn into Richard Papen's slide into the small clique of classics students majoring in Greek, improbably taking no other courses but French in a small Vermont private college. Never fitting in other settings, Richard seems a perfect fit here, though his blue-collar background contrasts to the wealthy background of the other five. The coin is fluency in Greek, and the group considers themselves set apart by their intellectual superiority. Though one member is far from an intellectual, and his position becomes increasingly precarious after a mysterious killing of a local farmer prods him to blackmail and snipe at the others he is sure killed the man. Richard is the observer, who becomes an accessory to murder, under the spell of the group's leader, who is determined to conceal their crimes at all costs. Mesmerized by the leader's rationalization that the first killing was an accident--or was it?-- Richard goes along with the plan for a second murder, drifting with the others from the first in a haze of constant heavy drinking combined with drugs taken as a matter of course. While college students --at least some of them--certainly did drugs in the Eighties and probably still do, every character major or minor in the book is stoned and recklessly drunk on top of that. No one dies of this, a miracle; and such bright students in the Greek major seem to be drunk or on their way much of the time--not terribly intellectual, though bright people often drink to excess at times. Not even Richard can work up actual horror at news of the first killing, or resistance to the plan to cover up by killing the second victim, chiefly because said victim's needling gets more and more annoying. Yet this reader, usually repelled by conscienceless characters, was unable to put the book down, wanting to know if they will get away with it, wanting to know what Richard--who hasn't actually committed either murder--will do in the end or if he will end up in prison for his complicity in abetting and concealing the crimes. The alarmingly plausible leader's essential evil is slowly and skillfully revealed by the author, who turned out a literate and vivid work of prose in THE SECRET HISTORY. The end had one small flaw, hard to understand the leader's action in the climax. It didn't seem in character. But the book was haunting and involving, and I'll look for more of Donna Tartt's work.
"The illogic of it frightened them and they did everything they could to crush it. In fact, I think the reason they took such drastic steps was because they were not only frightened but also terribly attracted to it." Donna Tartt, The Secret History This is absolutely one of the most addictive and honest works I've read. The students in this novel dance along the edge of monomania; they serve as an escape from rational life and engross attention in their idiosyncrasy. There is no room for critique of Tartt's carefully constructed novel. If you are searching for your favorite modern piece, The Secret History will not disappoint.
I first heard about this book from an article written by J.K. Rowling in The University of Exeter’s magazine Pegasus in which she described The Secret History as “an undeniable page-turner.” I now find myself inclined to agree with her. Sometimes later I read a free sample on my Nook and wasn’t very impressed – the university setting in which the story takes place seemed really unbelievable and kind of cheesy. After a recommendation from friend, however, I continued to read the whole thing and found that it was one of the most entertaining books I had ever read. It’s no masterwork of literature, but it’s definitely worth the read. It’s exciting; the characters are so well crafted that it’ll be very hard for any reader not to get attached to them. I purchased the Nook book and it was formatted very nicely without any problems.
“…people never seemed to notice at first how big Henry was. Maybe it was because of his clothes, which were like one of those lame but curiously impenetrable disguises from a comic book (why does no one ever see that ‘bookish’ Clark Kent, without his glasses, is Superman?). Or maybe it was a question of his making people see. He had the far more remarkable talent of making himself invisible – in a room, in a car, a virtual ability to dematerialise at will – and perhaps this gift was only the converse of that one: the sudden concentration of his wandering molecules rendering his shadowy form solid, all at once, a metamorphosis startling the viewer.” The Secret History is the first novel by American author, Donna Tartt. At the age of nineteen, Richard Papen goes to Hampden College in Vermont, primarily to get away from his parents and his depressingly boring hometown of Plano, CA. Having done two years of study in Ancient Greek, he jumps at the opportunity to join an exclusive class of five students studying The Classics under the very selective Julian Morrow. Richard is somewhat dazzled by his fellow students: Henry Winter, dark-suited, stiff, aloof and extremely intelligent; Francis Abernathy, angular and elegant; the beautiful twins, Charles and Camilla Macaulay, and Bunny Corcoran, loud and cheery. Never does he dream that within a few months, one of their number will be dead. At the centre of this book, both figuratively and literally, is a murder. The narrative is split into two: what led up to the murder, and the aftermath. The story is told by Richard some nine years after he went to Vermont. Tartt advances her story at a slow and careful pace; her characters, flawed and not necessarily appealing, develop as Richard gets to know them; her descriptive prose expertly evokes the atmosphere of the New England college. So naturally do events lead into one another that the reader occasionally needs to step back and think: this is murder they are so matter-of-factly discussing. Black humour relieves the tension: the twins, upbraided for their failure to plan a meal, retort “Well, if you wake up intending to murder someone at two o’clock, you hardly think what you’re going to feed the corpse for dinner”. As well as giving the reader plenty to think about (the value of life, self-preservation, friendship any loyalty), there is a plot with a few interesting turns and a quite unexpected climax. Tartt combines the story-telling talent of Stephen King with prose worthy of Wallace Stegner: the result is a compelling read that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.
Few months ago I have come across a book by the same author titled "The Goldfinch". I couldn't put it down and was left with a thirst to experience that kind of immersion once more. I researched the author and out of the two remaining books decided to read this one. My thirst was certainly quenched. I couldn't put the book down; I tried to slow down and absorb the beautiful language and vivid descriptions but the plot kept on sweeping me away. The characters, their unexpected development, naked honesty of the central character, the path the story weaved through my mind-all were unforgettable. I am still mulling over the thoughts this book provoked, the emotions it aroused in me, the ideas about human nature I was forced to explore. All the while the book was set in such a bucolic scene that I longed for the quite unhurried world of literary academia; wished for the kind of inspirational stimulus that the teacher/mentor provided these characters. Only to discover in the end that how we see people and our interactions with them and each other is simply a hall of mirrors with reflections seen influenced by what we want and not want to see; and not at all by the true nature of whatever is standing in front of that mirror. This would be a great book to explore at the book club.
500 pages of mixed up writing and characters that I could not connect with and didn't care about. Don't listen to good reviews. Worst book I ever read. Writing is just awful!!
I bought this book because "The Finch" was so very good. The "Secret History" goes no where. I read 150 pages and the characters were dull and the story went nowhere. A waste of time and money. I can't even force myself to spend anymore time on it. A total waste.
A work that is the slowest moving piece of literature, that I have slogged through. Others may relish the relish the overly descriptive passages, but I found that it covered up the poor plot development. The author created a confused sense of time and place. Quite frankly, it is a disgusting story about disgusting people. About 75 pages into this drivel, I wished every character ceased to exist.
Slow going, almost gave up on it. Read it because of a review of the sequel that interested me but now not sure about trying to read that.
Another--and her first--thrilling story you cannot put down! And yes, a lot of ingredients are similar: an immature young man with incompetent parents, interesting bad friends, a distinguished older mentor, lots of drugs, love, betrayal, suspense, tragedy, unthinkable actions...
I resented spending time with these insufferable self absorbed miscreants
This complex novel is slow-moving at times, but it is very rewarding. If you like this book, check out Carol Goodman's Lake of Dead Languages. Follow me on twitter!
Definitely a great read!!
Love this author's style of writing! Really draws you in and makes you relate to the characters. Creates lots of self reflection.
After reading Goldfinch, I had no idea Tartt has two books that came before it so I walked myself back to B&N and grabbed this and The Little Friend. The book, from the very first sentence, hooks you in and drags you into a great new world. I loved that it wasn't so much a whodunnit but more of a WHYdunnit. Separated into two books, this novel takes you on a wild ride and I loved it! Would definitely recommend to my friends looking for a gritty and deeply disturbed psychological thriller.
I love the reviewers who can go for paragraph after paragraph about a book, but I just do not have the stamina for that. All I can say is, I adored this book. It's not a light, easy read -- and not just because of the constant references to people and concepts I've never heard of and will probably rarely, if ever, come across again. But the story itself is a hard thing to swallow. I loved the characters and how terribly tragic they all were. And also how just terrible they all were. I loved how my feelings for each of them was consistently varying with each new drama that unfolded, but in the end I felt nothing but genuine sympathy for all of them. This is the first book I've ever read of Tartt's, and I enjoyed her writing style quite a bit. There are some passages and quotes that will randomly pop into my head from time to time even now. Like that orange is apparently the color of insanity. I don't know why I held on to that specifically.
My favorite of her works. My choice for stranded on an island reads. Recommend to every dedicated reader i know. Buy a copy whenever i book shop as i gift it often. An avid reader, this is one of a few that i reread every few months or so. Currently on one of the great rereads. Never tire of this beautifully written novel with its intriguing plot and incredibly genuine character development. Feel so close to these characters, never fails to move me to tears. Each reread is better than the first, always discovering something new. I thank you beloved novelist ,for this, one of the finest addition to my library. sja
Another masterpiece from Donna Tartt; this book was just as hard to put down as The Goldfinch and The Little Friend
The characters were stiff, boring, 2-dimensional, clueless, and stupid with no depth or emotion. The plot was unbelieveable and poorly executed. The first 80 pages are relentlessly boring, then it gets worse. I had to force myself to finish. I love reading and am angry at this author for churning out this bilge.