My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I believe I chose this book The Secret History as it was on my friend Paul’s read list. It sounded like a great novel, and I hadn’t heard of it before despite it being published for many years.
I took the chance…
It was a difficult read at first. I started it in March figuring I’d keep on trekking with this year’s “Reading Challenge” after a good start in January and a failed continuation in February (zero read books that month!)… Somehow, it sat on my nighttable throughout April with nothing read again… May passed and then I said to myself… start over, give it a chance and if by page 100 [which seems to be the turning point from other reviews] you’re not convinced, then shelve it.
I took the chance…
And I was intrigued more and more with each chapter. I was also annoyed with the characters. I don’t often hate and like a character at the same time, but to feel that way about almost every character in this book — yikes! I question: Am I fickle or are these people just so raw and emotional that they felt that real? I mean honestly… can’t we all say there are some friends we have that we absolutely adore and amusingly dislike at the same time!!!
Tartt does a fantastic job at making you feel like you’re in the story wanting to punch someone or slap someone. I found myself wanting them to possibly kill their intended victim (really, that doesn’t sound healthy, does it?)… but I also felt some compassion for the soon-to-be murdered character as I felt like he possibly had some redemption ahead of him.
In the end, I got through the book and would recommend it to those who have longevity in their reading styles. It’s one of those books where it’s OK to pick it up and put it down a few times interspersed with other lighter reads. You probably don’t want to read this one straight through as it is very intense and complex to think about. The plot is actually quite simple, but the various character perspectives, reactions, actions and dialogues force you to really analyze what’s happening and why it’s happening.
Part of me thinks this should be a college read requirement, but then I realize it may give a few students way too many ideas they shouldn’t be having!
You should take the chance…