Home > Fiction > The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Tuesday, 6 February 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fiction: Contemporary. Audio from Simon and Schuster Audio. Published in 2006. 15 hours, 40 minutes. Read by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner.Purchased from Audible.com.

I needed a book for a road trip, and chose this audiobook because it was listed on Audible’s Best of 2006 list. I can see why they listed it there. Not only did it have book lovers as characters, it kept me guessing and even surprised me a couple of times. I fell asleep listening to it the other night, sleeping lightly but not really registering where the story was going. There was a twist in the story line and my subconscious was paying enough attention that I instantly woke up and wondered what on earth had happened to get the story to that point. Needless to say I started listening to it again once I got up in the morning, very intrigued to learn what had happened.

Publisher’s summary:
All children mythologize their birth… So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers 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, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.

The Thirteenth Tale is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and 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.

Online book shopping:
Powell’s: The Thirteenth Tale
amazon.co.uk: The Thirteenth Tale
amazon.com: The Thirteenth Tale
Audible.com: The Thirteenth Tale

Categories: Fiction
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