January 3, 2007 archive

The Thirteenth Tale – Book Review

I don’t normally read the books that get all the hype. In fact, I usually avoid them because more often then not they do not live up to the reviews. But, with Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, the rich cover art made me stop and pick up the book. And I’m happy I did. Setterfield creates a world of intrigue set in libraries and an antique bookstore. Her beautiful language and interesting (albeit dysfunctional) characters kept me up late at night turning the pages. She offers many twists and turns on her way to revealing secrets long kept. There is a mystery, a murder, and characters who are not always what they seem.

The story centers around a famous author, Vida Winter, who is facing her mortality and decides to reveal the secrets of her past to biographer Margeret Lea…a woman with her own secrets. It is a story within a story, a rich tapestry of language and images, a gothic fairy tale which pits good against evil.

Highly recommended.

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