The Thirteenth Tale Hardcover – Sep 12 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Setterfield's debut novel translates into a great audio book that loses none of the suspense, surprise and satisfaction that come with a wonderful tale. The voices of two of the best dramatic talents working today turn Setterfield's story into a glorious treat for listeners. Henshall, who reads as Margaret Lea, and Redgrave, who plays recluse writer Vida Winter, create mood and tension with their voices, which settles listeners into the narrative with ease. Margaret, a young bookseller and amateur biographer, is chosen by Miss Winter as the recipient of the secret of her tragic past. She reveals, layer by layer, the mesmerizing tale of the Angelfield family that includes murder, insanity, feral twins, a ghost and a fire. Margaret's own past in some ways parallels Miss Winter's, leading them both through the blaze of memory into the truth. Audio fans will be dazzled; fans of the written word will find new depth to The Thirteenth Tale thanks to the rich work of two veteran readers.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Margaret Lea, a bookish loner, is summoned to the home of Vida Winter, England's most popular novelist, and commanded to write her biography. Miss Winter has been falsifying her life story and her identity for more than 60 years. Facing imminent death and feeling an unexplainable connection to Margaret, Miss Winter begins to spin a haunting, suspenseful tale of an old English estate, a devastating fire, twin girls, a governess, and a ghost. As Margaret carefully records Vida's tale, she ponders her own family secrets. Her research takes her to the English moors to view a mansion's ruins and discover an unexpected ending to Vida's story. Readers will be mesmerized by this -story-within-a-story tinged with the eeriness of Rebecca and the willfulness of Jane Eyre. The author skillfully keeps the plot moving by unfurling a new twist in each chapter and leaves no strand untucked at the surprising and satisfying conclusion. A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!!!
THE THIRTEENTH TALE is a modern-day story, but it is written in an old-fashioned, Gothic style that takes its time to reveal its many secrets. It includes all the elements of a classic Gothic novel: a crumbling haunted house, English moors, dense fog, and a young heroine who finds herself in a potentially dangerous situation. It is gripping, at times frightening, and always interesting. I was kept guessing about how the story would eventually be resolved, and was pleased by how skillfully the author pulled all of the pieces together.
My biggest complaint about THE THIRTEENTH TALE is that the main character felt somewhat one-dimensional. It is possible, however, that the characterization might have been intentional. The main character has been damaged by her own past, so maybe this was demonstrated by making her seem less-than-complete. In any case, that is a minor complaint for the book because many of the other characters are so well drawn.
This is an excellent book for readers who like a good, unusual mystery.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The Thirteenth Tale was an excellent read. I will look for more books by Diane Setterfield.Published 5 months ago by Ann Radis
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 morePublished 16 months ago by Cindy Beverly
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 morePublished 18 months ago by roebag
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 22 months ago by Melissa B