Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Readers will be mesmerized by this story-within-a-story tinged with the eeriness of
Rebecca and the willfulness of
Jane Eyre. The author...leaves no strand untucked at the surprising and satisfying conclusion." Booklist
"Enchanting." Kirkus Reviews
beautifully written....A remarkable first novel, a book about the
joy of books, a riveting multi-layered mystery that twists and turns,
and weaves a quite magical spell." The Independent (UK)
About the Author
Diane Setterfield is the #1
New York Times bestselling author of
The Thirteenth Tale, and a former academic, specializing in
twentieth-century French literature, particularly the works of Andre
Gide. She lives in Oxford, England.