Thursday, September 27, 2007

BOOK: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Title and author of book?
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre?

What led you to pick up this book?
Everyone I know has read and loved this book. It was a choice on the Something About Me challenge by Kristin, so I picked it for a RIP II challenge read as well. I've been wanting to read this one for a while.

Summarize the plot, but don't give away the ending!
Margaret Lea, a quiet, somewhat unhappy bookstore owner/biographer receives a strange letter from a famous author to come and 'hear the truth' of her story, to write her biography. As she enters into Vida Winter's tale, the plot gets very interesting.

What did you like most about the book?
I most liked the connection to Jane Eyre, which I read recently. Living on the moors, crazy people hiding in the house, abandoned children, pages ripped from the novel, fires in old castles; there were so many parallels to Jane Eyre.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books?
First book by Setterfield I've read.

What did you think of the main character?
Margaret was dealing with her own sad childhood. She was not a very social person, so she didn't have any problem falling into Vida Winter's world and childhood. Margaret was brave to take on this challenge, and very injured herself emotionally.

Any other particularly interesting characters?
Emmaline and Adeline March were certainly unique. I also liked John the Dig and the Misses, both old fashioned servants, the kind you only find in tremedously British books. They were devoted to their charges and also didn't seemed to become fazed by some strange happenings.

Share a quote from the book:
Oops, I already returned the book to the library. I don't usually notice quotes anyway.

Share a favorite scene from the book.
I wouldn't say I had any favorite scene in this book. Each scene leads to the next. For over the first half of the book, I couldn't understand the amazing appeal. It was good, and I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't feel inspired to pick it up at every moment; I wasn't racing through it, and I actually read other books at the same time. It picked up at the end, and the actual ending was great!

What about the ending?
The ending was the best, with a trendous twist that I can not reveal of course. Suffice to say, it was tragic and full of atmosphere and tied up the story perfectly.


  1. I am one of those who loved this book. I am glad you enjoyed it too!

  2. I'm the weirdo who didn't like The Thirteenth Tale. Actually, there are a few of us, but apparently the others never speak up. I don't mind confessing that I kind of hated the book. I think it was just bad timing.

  3. wendycat - I think I am somewhere between you and bookfool - I liked it, but didn't love it. It was perfect for the RIP II though.

    bookfool - You're not a weirdo! We love you just the way you are. Speak up, any time you want. I didn't like Pride and Prejudice much, there aren't many of us who speak up.

  4. I think I'm one of the few people that STILL Hasn't read this book!! One of these days.....

  5. I liked this book, but it fell short of a five-star for me. There was just something missing-I'm not sure what.

  6. stephanie - I thought I was the last one to read it

    eve - exactly. It was good, very good, but not 5 star for me

  7. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who hasn't read this book. I may save it for next year's R I P challenge. Great review.


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