The Thirteenth Tale

March 24th. 2010

It’s been a while since I read this novel, but when I was dusting the bookshelves (what I need to be doing is some serious spring cleaning, but for now I’ll just run a Swiffer over the book tops and call it done) and saw this cover ,I remembered that I’d always wanted to blog about The Thirteenth Tale. I’m not usually drawn to Gothic, Victorian-esque mysteries, but this debut novel by Diane Setterfield scattered all my objections like bone meal in the wind–how’s that for my own bit of Gothic imagery?? This novel tells the story of a famous eccentric, Vida Winter as her saga unfolds to biographer, Margaret Lea. Both women are not what they seem, actually all the characters between these pages are so original that none of them are what they seem. This oh, so clever “ghost” story is chocked full of lies, secrets, abandoned babies and the like, but its so well-plotted that you get sucked into the roller coaster road of discovery right along with Margaret. Others have said Ms. Setterfield is on equal par with the Bronte sisters, albeit a modern version, but I saw a lot of Daphne Du Maurier in the colors, storms and shadows of the various tales Ms. Winters spins. You’ll have to find this book and read it for yourself. It’s a keeper.

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