Why you should include The Secret History in your bookshelf this autumn

Are you looking for a catchy good read that will make you fantasise about a sublime, dark and mysterious world of dark academy vibes? Then this review about The Secret History by Donna Tartt came to you for a reason.

Escaping from your draining working-class family and a medical degree that doesn’t fulfil your life expectations, you get accepted into an elegant college and receive financial aid where you aim to follow your passion and study Greek. Miles away from home, you soon see yourself surrounded by classic and posh students. You get to know a very particular teacher, wealthy as he is, who exclusively teaches ancient Greek to the students that he considers competent. But thanks to your grasp of the subject, you get luckily accepted and start being part of a small class sharing their interest in the subject in petit comité. You start building friendships with your classmates thanks to a series of events involving sex, drugs, Greek mythology and what seems to be a predictable murder. 

 A story about lavish students that opens the door to the essence of a perfect blend of youth, chaos, elegance and mythology. Donna Tartt knows how to play with all these elements to create a world with dark academy vibes, keeping the mystery and intrigue present at all times. Narrated by one of the students, Richard Papen, he tells us the story from an older version of himself. Talking in the past tense, he makes us enter the world of his young self focusing on his vision and showing us an often romanticised version of his classmates that evolves over time, making us empathise with them on the same level as he did. After reading it, the novel itself seems to convey the consequences that isolation and obsession can attract into your life, as an overall final feeling. Intricate and fascinating at the same time.

This is the essence of the exquisite novel published in 1992 by Donna Tartt, which is gaining special popularity lately thanks to BookTook. Hashtags like #thesecrethistory and #secrethistory have already reached around 184.1M and 22.4M views on TikTok. Reviews, cosplays and fan casts have been created under these, enhancing its popularity among readers. The book is currently included in the list of bestselling books on Waterstones and over 5 million copies have been sold worldwide. With its obscure and mysterious essence, this novel is perfect for a late autumn read as a good spooky story.

Featured image: Argia Hernandez

Words: Argia Hernandez | Subbing: Elitsa Maymareva

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