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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.All children mythologize their birth...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Misterio e Intriga

Vida Winter - una escritora inglesa muy famosa - al borde de la muerte contrata a Margaret, una solitaria muchacha amante de los libros a escribir su biografía. A medida que Margaret penetra en la misteriosa y tortuosa vida de Vida y sus parientes, descubre un pasado familiar de alienación, incestos, abandono, crimenes, amores, desamores y relaciones extrañas que la llevan a desentrañar los secretos y misterios de la casona ya en ruina, sus habitantes y el verdadero origen de Vida Winter. Una novela excepcional y muy bien escrita que capta la atencion del lector con su narrativa, misterio, retrospectiva y un toque de curiosidad morbida que envuelve la historia.

a praising, non-spoiler review

It is a dark and stormy night as I write this. Or, to be more accurate, a dark and stormy morning. The weather reflects the exquisite melancholy that has settled itself upon me at the completion of The Thirteenth Tale. Diane Setterfield's debut novel is one of those all-too-rare stories that gets under your skin, that grabs hold of your imagination with both hands and won't let go. I have cherised the reading of this book over the last week. All other books were set aside. When I wasn't reading The Thirteenth Tale, I was thinking about it, remembering it. I looked forward to those stolen moments when I might be able to read but a few pages as much as I did those hours that I could devote to the tale. I hung on every word and savored The Thirteenth Tale as one would a well-prepared meal. And now it has ended and, contrary to my normal habits I am not anxious to pick up the next story. I am not yet ready to move on. To put it plainly, The Thirteenth Tale was bound to fail. It had to overcome the weight of considerable expectations. It seemed that everywhere I turned prior to its release someone or some thing was inducing me to buy this book. Comparisons to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca only served to heighten those expectations. And as I stood in the bookstore holding this beautiful volume in my hands (raised letter dust jacket with an image to make a book lover swoon, serrated pages that smelled of new paper and fresh ink, gold embossed designs on the spine of the book itself) my expectations were at a fever pitch. As I read those first pages I was nervous. Diane Setterfield was obviously attempting to speak with the voice of her gothic ancestors a century or more gone. A few of the initial sentences worried me. This style of writing seems always to be balanced on the edge of a precipice...one sentence fragment too many will tip it over that edge. I needn't have been concerned. Within a few pages it was apparent that Setterfield was a skilled performer. And really, if you think about it, she had an ace up her sleeve. Her protagonist, Margaret Lea, is a book lover. Sentences like: "There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce you skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic." and "I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book." could be mantras for those of us who have shared our love of books of late. With the kindred spirit of the bibliophile I was willing and anxious to follow Margaret on her adventure. And what an adventure it was. As I indicated at the beginning I will not spoil any part of the story for you. Simply put, The Thirteenth Tale is a grand novel in the gothic tradition. If you have read the book jacket you know that the story features a ghost, a grand old house, and family secrets. The novel al

"Do you intend to tell me the truth?"

Vida Winter, England's most famous and reclusive writer, is nearing the end, and before she goes she wants her amazing life story to be recorded for posterity. For this, she engages a lonely young biographer, Margaret Lea, who has a few secrets of her own. When these two forceful women meet, the stage is set for an ever-mounting series of shocking surprises. I've always been a fan of the Gothic style of romantic mystery, and some of my favorite authors are the Brontës, Daphne du Maurier, Mary Stewart, and Robert Goddard. If you share my love of windswept moors, bleak houses and strange families, you're in for a real treat. THE THIRTEENTH TALE is a masterful, deliberately old-fashioned story of secrets, ghosts, sexual obsession, murder, madness--you name it, and it's here. This is a beautiful book. I'm going to give copies to a few friends, and I plan to read it again. The only other books I've actually read twice are GREAT EXPECTATIONS, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, and REBECCA. What else can I say? Enjoy.

The Thirteenth Tale Mentions in Our Blog

The Thirteenth Tale in Cozy Escapes to Enjoy All Autumn Long
Cozy Escapes to Enjoy All Autumn Long
Published by Karen DeGroot Carter • October 01, 2020
Celebrate and immerse yourself in fall with these books and movies set during the season of pumpkin-spice.
The Thirteenth Tale in Library Magic: 10 Great Books About Libraries and Librarians
Library Magic: 10 Great Books About Libraries and Librarians
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 18, 2019

Libraries are magical and librarians are magicians. So many of us found our love of the written word amidst the sacred stacks of our childhood bibliotech. We'll never forget the sense of excitement as the librarian handed us a pile of delicious new stories. Not surprisingly, libraries and librarians show up in the pages of lots of great books. Here are ten that we like.

The Thirteenth Tale in Ten Reads to Establish Your Fictional Sense of Direction
Ten Reads to Establish Your Fictional Sense of Direction
Published by Melina Lynne • September 02, 2015

Have you ever solicited new book ideas from your friends, or posted your inquiry on Facebook, Twitter or some other form of social media? What you hear back is generally a pitch for their favorite author, genre, series, etc., and, ultimately, you realize you are no further in your quest for a new read than when you started. Plus you will now have to answer the question, "So, did you read it?" several times over the weeks and months to come. Sounding familiar?

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