The Secret History by Donna Tartt

It took me for-ev-er to read this book. I kept putting it down, and also there were things like the Olympics and the DNC and being sick and being tired from going back to work that kept me from reading as much as I normally do. I am glad I stuck with it, though.

After moving from California to Hampden College in Vermont, Richard finds himself taken in by small, wealthy group of students who study Greek together. As Richard gets to know them better, he discovers that they have a secret. As he falls deeper and deeper into their confidence, their fear of discovery leads them to kill one of their own.

The first part of the book is setting up the things I just told you – Richard’s relationships with the five of them and how their friendship leads to murder. (This is all told on the inside jacket and in the first chapter, so I am not spoiling anything by telling you that.) The second half, which I liked better, was the fear of discovery. I liked how the walls were closing in around them, the sense of dread that permeated the pages. The question is, will they be discovered? And even if they aren’t discovered, will it have been worth it in the end?

The last hundred pages had twists and turns that had me actually gasping out loud, and because of that, I would say that this one is worth a shot. I think it would be a decent choice for a book club discussion because of the characters and their relationships alone. The first part is slow, but the payoff, for me at least, was worth it.

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