16 February, 2018


Title: The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Series: -
Genres:Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Gothic
Publisher: Atria Books
Release: September 12th, 2006
Source: Paperback
Pages: 406

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All children mythologize their birth...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself -- all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.


EXPECTATIONS: Going into this book I knew nothing! Literally I bought it just because it seemed like a nice story, and one of my friends told me it's a great book. I literally knew nothing of it! And I'm very glad I bought it!

THE WORLD: We have these two words. Our present world and the past. Now let me tell you, I was so into the past story I literally forgot what time and day it was! You can clearly see the differences between the two worlds and at the same time, you do understand that this is happening in the past or other events are now. The two worlds do not really combine.

CHARACTERS: It's very hard to go into this review without spoilers but let me try my best. So we have two main characters: Margaret Lea, a daughter of a bookstore owner, she likes to write sometimes, she loves reading, she is very clever and smart and witty. I liked her a lot. I liked the way she doubted herself, the way she looked at things and reacted to every single information. She took this role as a listener in the book, while also taking the role of understanding and writing a memoir for someone. We also have Vida Winter (love love love the name), she is the woman whose life Margaret is documenting. Vida tells all these stories to Margaret, these interesting insights and we get to see the world pretty much from Vida's point.

Now we do have other characters but as I said, it would go down to spoilers!!!1

ROMANCE: Not really the focus of this book!

GOOD: The idea itself. It was a very good explored plot and idea. I enjoyed the concept the way it was executed and given to the reader. I felt suspense, eagerness and anxiety reading it.

BAD: It was a little slow at times.

OVERALL: I think this book is definitely worth checking out! For sure! Its was a very pleasurable read!

What do you think about THE THIRTEENTH TALE?



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