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The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale
by: (author)
3.95 2020
When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny. 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... show more
When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.
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.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780743298025 (0743298020)
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages no: 406
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books rated it
3.5 24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 - Winter Solstice / Yuletide, Book
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. T...
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books rated it
3.5 24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 - Winter Solstice / Yuletide, Book
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. T...
isanythingopen
isanythingopen rated it
5.0 I can't let this book go!
I'm dwelling! It made me want to cry at the end. She had written so many books that people loved. But never had a name she could call her own til she became a famous writer. But, no one except the woman (twin?) hidden away in her house knew who she was. And in the end , we don't know who, which ...
Murder by Death
Murder by Death rated it
4.5 The Thirteenth Tale
Not the book I was expecting based on reviews I'd read. I was mentally prepped for a darker, somewhat more manipulative, maybe almost a templaric tale. It wasn't any of those things, but it is an excellent story. The MC is contacted by an author who is both very reclusive and famous to an almost...
Obsidian Blue
Obsidian Blue rated it
5.0 A Wonderful Book to Read During the Winter Months
So I read "The Thirteenth Tale" eons ago. This book came out in 2006 and I recall starting it around Christmas time that same year. I fell in love with the book. Too bad I could not get into Setterfield's follow-up "Bellman & Black". I can't even tell you much about that second book except I fell as...
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