Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This book was a Christmas gift from Amanda and it's a winner. If you love a good ghost story, you must add this one to your reading list. Written in the style of a gothic romantic mystery, it's a real page turner! The plot is well paced, original and intriguing; the characters well-developed, convincing and so mysterious. I was hooked from the first page and was sorry to see it end.

In brief, this is a tale about an old estate, a very strange family, sexual obsession, twins, murder, ghosts and madness (all the elements that make for a really great story!). The Thirteenth tale begins to unfold when the reknown author, Vida Winter, contacts Margaret, a young author and antiquarian bookseller in London, and asks her to write a biography of her (Vida's) long and secretive life. Since Miss Winter had already told her"story" to 19 other writers, in 19 completely different versions, Margaret was wary of the task ahead of her.

As Vida begins to share her "stories" will feel yourslef getting sucked into her mysterious web of intrigue. The storytelling is masterful, suspenseful and surprising. And just when you think you've figured it all out, wait...there's more to come. I don't want to give anything away, but trust me, you will not be disappointed!


Amanda said...

I've actually got this one in hand right now. As I'm two chapters away from finishing "Twilight" I was wondering if I should start the next Twilight book or this one (or The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, which I also have.) Oh, what's a person to do with so many good books to read?

So glad you enjoyed it mom!

Dave said...

I also thought it was a good story. Inventive and reasonably compelling. The family is indeed warped and capable of producing events that are outragous and yet believable. A good recommendation.