haunting and elegant
The Goldfinch introduced me to this author whose quirky trademark is that it takes her ten years to complete each novel (the final one I must read is The Little Friend published in 2002). Her books are hefty in knowledge, insight, elegance and pages. I find her writing neat and tight; every sentence having a purpose.
The Goldfinch (published in 2013) is absolutely wonderful, in my opinion, with a romantic dreamlike quality (as you find in The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.) Abundantly layered with description and detail. It is a nourishing read; no empty calories here with its gothic thriller, love story, meditative core.
intense and complex
The Secret History (published in 1992) is consistently well paced and so taut that it produces knots in your stomach. With her expertly created characters and complex friendships, based on envy, guilt, social class, need...) she has made anything and everything possible in this inverted detective story. Although it is about murder, it isn't just dark and disturbing but also delicate, messy, funny, excruciating and surprising.