The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Fall is a time for Apple everything!  This month enjoy a dark and slightly disturbing Academic thriller with a steaming hunk of Apple Up-Side-Down Ginger Cake and a cup of tea.

There isn’t a lot left to say about this book. It was first published in 1992, and I have had it in my TBR pile for a while now.  Well, what with Fall in the air (only 86 degrees here in Central Texas on the first day of Fall, ya’ll, be sure and break out your sweaters!) I decided to move it to the top of my pile and I am glad I did.  This is one of those novels that stays with you for a long time after you finish reading it.  The best comparison I can come up with right now is to Lolita.  You know the train wreck is coming, you know the characters are terrible people, yet you can’t look away. Even though it is over 600 pages, you will keep reading.  Even though you find out the “bad thing” on the first page, you will keep reading. Even though none of the characters has much in the way of redeeming qualities, you will keep reading.

In case you want to discuss the book with someone while you eat cake, here are some questions. 

  1. Which of the characters do you think was most responsible for what happened?
  2. Why do you think Richard was so desperate to join the Greek Program?
  3. What do you think Julian’s role was?
  4. What do you think happened that Richard didn’t tell us?
  5. How sympathetic was Bunny’s family?  Why or why not?
  6. Which character was your favorite?  Why?

Published by Robin Henry

Independent Scholar and Book Coach specializing in Historical Fiction and Literary Fan Fiction.

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