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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

by

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780743298032
ISBN10: 0743298039
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

Review:

"Former academic Setterfield pays tribute in her debut to Brontë and du Maurier heroines: a plain girl gets wrapped up in a dark, haunted ruin of a house, which guards family secrets that are not hers and that she must discover at her peril. Margaret Lea, a London bookseller's daughter, has written an obscure biography that suggests deep understanding of siblings. She is contacted by renowned aging author Vida Winter, who finally wishes to tell her own, long-hidden, life story. Margaret travels to Yorkshire, where she interviews the dying writer, walks the remains of her estate at Angelfield and tries to verify the old woman's tale of a governess, a ghost and more than one abandoned baby. With the aid of colorful Aurelius Love, Margaret puzzles out generations of Angelfield: destructive Uncle Charlie; his elusive sister, Isabelle; their unhappy parents; Isabelle's twin daughters, Adeline and Emmeline; and the children's caretakers. Contending with ghosts and with a (mostly) scary bunch of living people, Setterfield's sensible heroine is, like Jane Eyre, full of repressed feeling — and is unprepared for both heartache and romance. And like Jane, she's a real reader and makes a terrific narrator. That's where the comparisons end, but Setterfield, who lives in Yorkshire, offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"If you are a Reader with a capital R, as is the narrator of Diane Setterfield's debut novel, the pages of 'The Thirteenth Tale' will remind you of what you know and love: the world of books. What you are less likely to recall, however, is the world outside them, the world we inhabit when we set our books aside. Setterfield's erudite novel amounts to a sort of brainteaser, a literary riddle to occupy... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled." Booklist

Review:

"This is a book-lover's novel, with rich characters, fascinating plot twists and plenty of secluded moments infused with the soothing smell of cracking leather and old paper....[A] smart, thoughtful look at truth and deception." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Those who buy and read this complex, compelling and, in the end, deeply moving novel are unlikely to feel they've been shortchanged." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Setterfield's first novel is equally suited to a rainy afternoon on the couch or a summer day on the beach." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] contemporary gothic tale whose excesses and occasional implausibility...can be forgiven for the thrill of the storytelling." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The Thirteenth Tale is a book that you wake in the middle of the night craving to get back to....Like a childhood favorite, it is timeless, charming, pure pleasure to read." San Diego Union-Tribune

Review:

"Setterfield is neither a Bronte nor a DuMaurier, and her adventure creaks at times....But this debut novel gets a lot of that rich bookishness right, heavy on the gothic detail and romantic suspense." Boston Globe

Review:

"The Thirteenth Tale explicitly sets out to capitalize on our longing for a good old-fashioned read but fails to deliver on precisely that." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] gripping and spellbinding novel with a haunting quality....Read this book for its dazzling turn of a phrase, its wonderful twist on the classic ghost story and the author's stunning ability to move her audience." BookReporter.com

Synopsis:

Tell me the truth. It was a simple request, but one that shook the reclusive author, Vida Winter, to her core. She had spent the last six decades creating alternate lives that brought her fame and fortune, and kept her tragic past a secret.

Tell me the truth. These words echoed in the heart of biographer Margaret Lea, for whom the secret of her own birth remained an ever-present source of pain.

Tell me the truth. Vida promises Margaret that she would finally reveal the long-held secrets of her extraordinary life. Together, this unlikely pair will confront the ghosts that have haunted their lives for decades.

Synopsis:

In this rousingly good ghost story, Setterfield's debut novel rejuvenates the genre with a closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths.

Synopsis:

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

About the Author

Diane Setterfield is a former academic, specializing in twentieth-century French literature. She lives in Yorkshire, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 19 comments:

sharrona, November 26, 2012 (view all comments by sharrona)
Haven't listened to a book quite this bad for many years. Had I not been a "captive audience" on a long car trip, I would've quit. But the drive let me give the book every opportunity to improve. It didn't.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
nrlymrtl, November 7, 2012 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
I loved this story. It was so rich in building the suspense a piece at a time. Towards the end, I had a few moments where I had guessed what was about to be revealed and I found myself holding my breath, waiting to hear if I had it right. Truly, Diane Setterfield laid the grounds for the mystery of Winter’s life, but then coupling it with Margaret’s own tragic beginning made for excellent reading.

While many of the characters in this story are long dead, as they are part of Winter’s past, the author wrote them so believably real and their existence is still reflected in how they shaped and molded Ms. Winter as a young lady. From her own emotionally absent parents to the gardener and the house mistress, and even a short-term governess. All these people had a piece in the tragedy of Winter’s life, some good and some bad and some a mix. I appreciated that in the end, Winter wasn’t free of her burden of guilt and bad choices past.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Deb Duffy, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by Deb Duffy)
This book was a perfect blend of suspense and mystery. Following the parallel stories of two women, Setterfield examines the psychological connection between twins, whether they are alive or dead. There were enough turns and twists in this tale that kept me guessing until the end.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 19 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743298032
Author:
Setterfield, Diane
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Author:
Diane Setterfield
Author:
Diane Setterfield
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Women Authors
Subject:
Female friendship
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Subject:
jane eyre; bronte; gothic romance; gothic novel; literary fiction; women s fiction; BBC; historical fiction; vanessa redgrave; wilkie collins; charles dickens; tracy chevalier; bestseller; haunting; british writers; heyday films; olivia coleman; twins; ph
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Large Print:
Y
Publication Date:
October 9, 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.24x5.66x1.20 in. .85 lbs.

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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Washington Square Press - English 9780743298032 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Former academic Setterfield pays tribute in her debut to Brontë and du Maurier heroines: a plain girl gets wrapped up in a dark, haunted ruin of a house, which guards family secrets that are not hers and that she must discover at her peril. Margaret Lea, a London bookseller's daughter, has written an obscure biography that suggests deep understanding of siblings. She is contacted by renowned aging author Vida Winter, who finally wishes to tell her own, long-hidden, life story. Margaret travels to Yorkshire, where she interviews the dying writer, walks the remains of her estate at Angelfield and tries to verify the old woman's tale of a governess, a ghost and more than one abandoned baby. With the aid of colorful Aurelius Love, Margaret puzzles out generations of Angelfield: destructive Uncle Charlie; his elusive sister, Isabelle; their unhappy parents; Isabelle's twin daughters, Adeline and Emmeline; and the children's caretakers. Contending with ghosts and with a (mostly) scary bunch of living people, Setterfield's sensible heroine is, like Jane Eyre, full of repressed feeling — and is unprepared for both heartache and romance. And like Jane, she's a real reader and makes a terrific narrator. That's where the comparisons end, but Setterfield, who lives in Yorkshire, offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled."
"Review" by , "This is a book-lover's novel, with rich characters, fascinating plot twists and plenty of secluded moments infused with the soothing smell of cracking leather and old paper....[A] smart, thoughtful look at truth and deception."
"Review" by , "Those who buy and read this complex, compelling and, in the end, deeply moving novel are unlikely to feel they've been shortchanged."
"Review" by , "Setterfield's first novel is equally suited to a rainy afternoon on the couch or a summer day on the beach."
"Review" by , "[A] contemporary gothic tale whose excesses and occasional implausibility...can be forgiven for the thrill of the storytelling."
"Review" by , "The Thirteenth Tale is a book that you wake in the middle of the night craving to get back to....Like a childhood favorite, it is timeless, charming, pure pleasure to read."
"Review" by , "Setterfield is neither a Bronte nor a DuMaurier, and her adventure creaks at times....But this debut novel gets a lot of that rich bookishness right, heavy on the gothic detail and romantic suspense."
"Review" by , "The Thirteenth Tale explicitly sets out to capitalize on our longing for a good old-fashioned read but fails to deliver on precisely that."
"Review" by , "[A] gripping and spellbinding novel with a haunting quality....Read this book for its dazzling turn of a phrase, its wonderful twist on the classic ghost story and the author's stunning ability to move her audience."
"Synopsis" by , Tell me the truth. It was a simple request, but one that shook the reclusive author, Vida Winter, to her core. She had spent the last six decades creating alternate lives that brought her fame and fortune, and kept her tragic past a secret.

Tell me the truth. These words echoed in the heart of biographer Margaret Lea, for whom the secret of her own birth remained an ever-present source of pain.

Tell me the truth. Vida promises Margaret that she would finally reveal the long-held secrets of her extraordinary life. Together, this unlikely pair will confront the ghosts that have haunted their lives for decades.

"Synopsis" by , In this rousingly good ghost story, Setterfield's debut novel rejuvenates the genre with a closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths.
"Synopsis" by , Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

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