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review 2018-11-20 13:28
24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 - Winter Solstice / Yuletide, Book
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale - Juliet Stevenson,Diane Setterfield

Somewhat too self-involved for my taste, though in a first novel dealing with identity and the autobiographies we create for ourselves that probably shouldn't have come as a total surprise ... and I'll grant Setterfield that it doesn't exactly have "first novel" written right across its forehead.  The story's central underpinning is one of my absolute no-go tropes, however

(a secret baby)

(spoiler show)

-- and I'm sorry, but the days when I would have found the two (!) generations of Angelfield / March children's upbringing and childhood, or the household as such for that matter, anything even approaching romantic, wild or desirable are long gone. 

 

Far and away the best scene is the one summed up in isanythingopen's 70% mark status update -- a doctor's prescription of Sherlock Holmes as a cure for a cold and for getting overly romantically caught up in an identification with 19th century women's literature.  (Writer, heed thy own words, I'm bound to add.)

 

3 1/2 stars because I'm feeling generous and the writing actually is quite atmospheric whenever it isn't trying too hard.

 

The framework narrative mostly takes place in December, so I'm counting this book towards the Winter Solstice / Yuletide square of 24 Festive Tasks.

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text 2018-11-01 08:15
24 Festive Tasks: The Seven Final Holidays

 

As explained in this year's Rules / Mode of Play post, we're going to reveal the seven final holidays included in the card and the respective book tasks early on, so as to allow enough time to complete these books. 

 

The final holidays and book tasks are:

 

Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21): Read any book that takes place in December OR with ice or snow on the cover OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox OR a collection of poetry by Hafez.

 

Festivus (December 23): Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

 

Christmas (December 25): Read any Christmas book.

 

Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1): Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.

 

New Year's Eve (December 31): Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!

 

Hogswatch (December 32)*: Read anything by Terry Pratchett.

 

Epiphany (January 6): Read a book with three main characters OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place OR a book that’s part of a trilogy OR with a star on the cover OR with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title OR or concerning kings or spices.

 

The non-book tasks for these seven holidays will be revealed on December 16, which is when we'll also be opening the corresponding doors on the calendar.  (Hey, we want to keep some element of suspense at least for these ...)

 

* Discworld calendar.

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