I considered giving this 4 stars. If I could, it'd be 3.5.
At Hampden College in Vermont, a group of six close-knit friends are connected by their love of the Classics and Greek. They take almost all their classes together with the slightly mysterious but very inspiring Julian as their instructor. The group includes: (1) Henry, the most studious and wealthy of the group; (2) Francis, a flashy dresser with red hair; (3) Bunny, outgoing and rather obnoxious; (4,5) Charles and Camilla, twins who almost always wear white; and (6) Richard, the newcomer from California and our narrator. Most of them are from the Northeast. They have a penchant for being overly-dressed in their suits, ties, white dresses, and scarves. They drink a lot. They throw around money like crazy (most of the money being either Francis's or Henry's). And most importantly, they keep a lot of secrets.
The novel begins with Bunny's murder by the other five friends and the remainder of the book deals with the lead-up, explanation, and aftermath of the killing.
There are a lot of things I really loved about this book. First of all, the characters were unique and interesting, and I liked how their personalities were unveiled very slowly. The collegiate setting was well described, as was Francis's cottage, and all the descriptions of excess drinking and cold Vermont and late night talks made for an effective and absorbing setting. And of course, the basic idea of the plot (friends plotting to murder one of their group) is very intriguing. My issues with the book came in the details. There was one major thing that I wish had been explored/revealed more.
But overall, I did enjoy the book. It was very absorbing and I know I won't be forgetting the characters anytime soon.
TITLE: The Secret History
AUTHOR: Donna Tartt
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1992
VERDICT: 3/5 stars.