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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel [Paperback]

Diane Setterfield
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves more than 5 stars! March 5 2007
By Kay
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the best gothic tales I have read! It's characters draw you in right from the beginning. I am a twin also so I really felt connected to them.

I highly recommend this book, also after reading the book check out the amazing website: Thethirteenthtale.com

I hope they make this book into a movie!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kelly's review Jan. 11 2007
By G.O.
Format:Hardcover
THE THIRTEENTH TALE is not your average book----what is nowadays? The book opens with a woman and her trouble with the truth. All her life she has been telling people false stories about who she is.

She is a famous author, Vida Winter, who everytime she gives an interview, she tells a made up story of who she is. So, many people read her novels, but they do not truly know the woman behind the story. She has reached a point in her life, though, where she feels she needs to tell people who she is.

She enlists the main character for that task. The chance for this young lady to finally reveal to the world the truth of who Vida Winter is. The Thirteenth Tale.

The young lady that Miss Winters gets to write her biography, Margaret Lee, has been living above her fathers' bookstore, where she helps him. She has written a few biographies, but more for her interest than any fame.

One of her relatively unknown biographies, though, attracts the attention of Miss Winters and the message behind the words encourages her to contact Miss Lee. Margaret is dealing with her own sense of loss and not knowing who she really is, so while she is skeptical at first, she eventually agrees to write Miss Winters story.

And, what a story it is. It is amazing how who she was before became this author that sits in front of Margaret now. She lead a hard life, and by the looks of all the pages she has written, managed to make something of herself. If anything, she is famous for her unfinished collection of short stories, a collection that has left the world wondering and which is the inspiration for this novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing Nov. 27 2009
By Tanya
Format:Paperback
This book was amazing. A must read story that is full of suspence, twists and turns and an ending that was a true surprise. The author is a natural story teller and you just don't want to put the book down even though it is full or sadness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that will keep you guessing til the end Aug. 11 2009
Format:Paperback
I really like reading debut novels. Especially if they're great books because there is a promise of more great books to come. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a great debut novel. I read it one weekend when I was home sick and I literally could not put the book down.

It's a story about families, mostly dysfunctional ones. It's a story about stories. It's about people trying to discover their story and how that story fits into their family's story.

The story opens in a bookshop where the main character, Margaret works with her father. She has received an invitation to write the biography of a reclusive well-loved author with a mysterious background; a story that others have always wanted to hear. Margaret accepts the invitation and sets out to find a tale that will also help her tell her own story.

One of the more intriguing themes that run through the book is the theme of twins and their twinness. Another theme is childhood cruelty; this is not always an easy book to read. But the twists and turns of the mystery keep the reader coming back to the book for a thoroughly satisfying ending. I hope Diane Setterfield is well on her way to publishing another book; I for one will buy it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books of the year! Oct. 17 2006
By Kelly
Format:Hardcover
I was hooked on this book from the moment it came in the mail. The cover alone is enought to capture someone's attention. Then, you open to the first page and you are at the books mercy until the very last page. I had heard good things about this book, and I am glad I did, because I might have read it in the future, but I would have waited for the paperback, so it would have been sometime before I had the chance to read it. The praise for it, though, meant that I got to read it sooner rather than later.

The book opens with a woman and her trouble with the truth. All her life she has been telling people false stories about who she is. She is a famous author, Vida Winter, who everytime she gives an interview, she tells a made up story of who she is. So, many people read her novels, but they do not truly know the woman behind the story. She has reached a point in her life, though, where she feels she needs to tell people who she is. She enlists the main character for that task. The chance for this young lady to finally reveal to the world the truth of who Vida Winter is. The Thirteenth Tale.

The young lady that Miss Winters gets to write her biography, Margaret Lee, has been living above her fathers' bookstore, where she helps him. She has written a few biographies, but more for her interest than any fame. One of her relatively unknown biographies, though, attracts the attention of Miss Winters and the message behind the words encourages her to contact Miss Lee. Margaret is dealing with her own sense of loss and not knowing who she really is, so while she is skeptical at first, she eventually agrees to write Miss Winters story.

And, what a story it is. It is amazing how who she was before became this author that sits in front of Margaret now.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My goodness I love the wonderful world that Dianne Setterfield
My goodness I love the wonderful world that Dianne Setterfield has created in this story rich with wonderfully flawed characters, a writing style that was so beautiful and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cindy Beverly
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I enjoyed this book immensely... read it in a few days...the beginning maybe a little slow, but it is setting the story, which once it pulls you in, you will not be able to put... Read more
Published 1 month ago by roebag
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this book
This book had me right away and held me right until the last word. I still want more, and wish it wasn't over. Amazing story.
Published 5 months ago by Melissa B
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
This book was recommended by a friend for which I will always be grateful. Diane Setterfield is a master in her field. Can't wait to read her next novel.
Published 5 months ago by Denyse Bertrand
4.0 out of 5 stars A gothic and eerie look into a truly dysfunctional family
*** This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by The Baking Bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful written gothic novel
I wanted to like this book more than I did - because there is absolutely nothing wrong with the writing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lynne Frappier
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely spellbinding
I have to admit that I bought this book in the middle of some big life transitions so it took me a good week or so to get really into it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jenna321
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
This came highly recommended by a friend and I totally agree with her. Well written and spell binding. I will definitely read anything else by Setterfield. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ourbar
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story that Sticks with you
It has been well over two years since I picked up this piece of contemporary fiction on a whim--I normally stick to the classics. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Talena Winters
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite
Outstanding book! This is my second time reading it and it never fails to amaze me! I cried, I laughed, I got the chills! Truly a must read for everyone! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ctc123
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