8 Great Books for Fans of The Secret History

Books like The Secret History could pique your interest. This novel tells the tale of a group of students who study Ancient Greek under Professor Julian Morrow in the 1980s in Vermont at a prestigious liberal arts institution.

books like the secret history

The Secret History is a book that was written 20 years ago and is about a close-knit group of classics students at a prestigious New England institution.

The book has developed a cult-like reputation. Books like The Secret History have the power to draw you in as the mystery is revealed in every chapter.

The debut book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt has received accolades for her exquisite writing, fast-moving plot, and multidimensional protagonists.

The alluring delights of Tartt’s writing, which draws you deeper into a twisted world of emotional manipulation and addiction enthralled readers, much like its narrator, Richard, who yearns to be a part of the exclusive society.

The thirst persists even when events turn violent and result in murder and remorse.

Here are 8 books that are like The Secret History to have murder, elitist schools, dark secrets, and devoted friends.

Truly Devious, by Maureen Johnson. If you like The Secret History’s mystery components, Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is an excellent alternative.

This book is the first of a trilogy for young adults about mysteries and thrillers.

In Vermont, where a famous unsolved kidnapping and murder took place in the 1930s, Truly Devious is set in a school for brilliant youngsters.

The primary character, Stevie, is an enthusiast of actual crimes and the newest pupil at Ellingham Academy.

Stevie becomes entangled in another murder investigation in the present because of her obsession with cracking the previous cold case.

Stevie doubts everyone in her search to catch the killer because she is unsure of who she can trust, including her closest friends.

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. The literary fantasy novel by Grossman includes plenty of witches and wizards to satiate your need if you thought Donna Tartt’s book was nice but was lacking a few.

Rich, bored Quentin from New York has always yearned for an escape, so when he discovers Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a college dedicated to the study of actual spells and other magic he never looks back.

He quickly becomes friends with the school’s intellectual elite, a close-knit group that has been engaging in the extracurricular magic practice.

Despite its lack of fantasy flourishes, Grossman’s book is likely the one that most closely resembles Tartt’s in tone and emphasis on the damage that high-pressure situations can cause to friendships.

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller. If you like The Secret History’s focus on Classical and Ancient Greek culture, you’ll adore Madeline Miller’s novel The Song of Achilles.

The Greek hero Achilles’s narrative is retold in the book from the viewpoint of Patroclus, who is banished to the court of Peleus by his own father after accidentally murdering a noble son.

Patroclus soon discovers himself falling in love with Achilles, who was more skillful and gorgeous because of his demi-god status.

Up to the characters’ demise, we follow them. Its passionate tragedy can make Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare come to mind.

I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys new interpretations of classic tales since Miller isn’t hesitant to examine this relationship, in contrast to many other authors who have written about Homer’s The Iliad.

Pick up this book if you want to read more like The Secret History.


The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. This one should be obvious, right?

The Goldfinch, just her third book in 20 years, was released this autumn to the joy of a throng of admirers who had been clamoring for more from her ever since The Little Friend’s publication in 2002.

The title picture from Tartt’s most recent book, about a youngster who escapes a bombing at an art gallery as his mother perishes, delivers much of the same joys as her first book: hidden secrets, painful family drama, and murder most heinous.

The Likeness, by Tana French. In the second book in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, young detective Cassie Maddox risks getting too involved in her investigation when, thanks to a string of unlikely coincidences (she looks exactly like a murder victim, so much so that even her friends can’t tell the difference, and is this Orphan Black suddenly?), she finds herself inside a tight-knit community of reclusive graduate students who share a creepy old house. If you can get over the basic idea, it’s amusing.

The Shadow Year, by Hannah Richell. Three friends decide to forsake their lives and move into an abandoned home they find in the English countryside in 1980.

As temperatures decrease and tensions rise, what at first seems like a secret paradise becomes less lovely.

However, when a stranger suddenly appears, everything changes.

When a new resident moves into the cottage and begins investigating its enigmatic, well, secret past, the tale takes up 30 years later.

That she might not want to do, according to some individuals.

The Basic Eight, by Daniel Handler. The Secret History in high school has the same biting sense of fatalistic comedy and an even darker edge as the Lemony Snicket books, but this time from a different author.

This book explores what actually occurred among a group of extremely popular elites (the Basic Eight) at an exclusive boarding school that, a year later, led to one of them being called a murderess by the tabloid press.

The story is told in flashbacks. She wants us to know that things have gotten out of hand once again. Like they do. Kids, learn from this: don’t join any secret groups.

The Year of the Gadfly, by Jennifer Mather. It would be a stretch to compare this book too closely to Donna Tartt’s, but if you enjoy reading about secret societies and boarding schools in New England, you might enjoy this.

The enigmatic Prisom’s Party, a hidden group that functioned at the school decades previously, is threatening and blackmailing the students and professors at a prestigious boarding school.

Iris Dupont, a rising investigative journalist who converses with Edward R. Murrow’s ghost, is to learn the truth about the school’s past and her own.

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