The Secret History: Book Review

Not many novel can make Ancient Greek interesting but The Secret History by Donna Tartt does just that. A novel about a group of college students that kill one of their group members because of a dark secret. Keep reading to find out whether this book should be your next read!

The Secret History Summary

Richard Papen has enrolled at the elite Hampden College in Vermont. He will be studying Ancient Greek but he is unable to enroll into the Classics class because the professor, Julian Morrow, handpicks the students. With the help of his new friends, fraternal twins Charles and Camilla Macaulay; Francis Abernathy, Henry Winter, and Edmund “Bunny” Corcoran, Richard finally gets to join the exclusive club.

As Richard spends time with his new rich friends, he learns the dynamic of the group and their dark secret. Henrey is the leader and they all hag out at his secluded country home and Bunny seems to the one that doesn’t get along well with the group.

The secret History book cover
The secret History by Donna Tartt

As Richard spends time with the group, he learns that not everything is as well as it seems. Everyone seems to have their own secrets and not everyone gets along. And beneath the surface, the group performsancient rituals that are taboo.

Some of the dark secrets come to life and make their way across the school and get the police involved. As time passes, Richard learns that this group is chaotic and that they have many dark secrets that turns the lives of everyone in the group upside down.  


Donna Tartt is one of the authors I have come to appreciate a lot. Her writing is detailed and sometimes a little too much. However, the character descriptions are brilliant and feel very alive. You might like or dislike some of her characters because of Tartt’s details and making their flaws potent.

The Secret History Paperback Edition

The Secret History is a big novel that can feel a bit too much at times with its themes and debauchery. But the plot twists and the crazy plot make it a fun read unlike anything else.


Tartt is not for everyone but this is one of her best works and worth checking out if you haven’t read anything from her before. She writes about one novel per decade but it feels like the end product is worth it. Her meticulous writing style is unique and leads to a wondrous tale!

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18 thoughts on “The Secret History: Book Review

  1. Peachy says:

    I started this, but I hope to get back to it soon!

    1. Ahaqir says:

      Its a long book so I don’t blame you but it is worth finishing for sure!

      1. Peachy says:

        Definitely! I could already tell!! thank you!

  2. yakutar94 says:

    Hey. Is the murder a spoiler of the story? I haven’t read the book. I haven’t read enough fiction books. But this sounds interesting.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      No it’s the first sentence of the novel I believe lol. It’s the whole plot of the novel. And yea, it’s a great read

  3. Anonymous says:

    There’s an error. The house they hang out in in the country belongs to Francis. And Henry is more or less the apparent leader of the group, because they always did what he said to do. But it’s stated here like an official thing.


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