Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Margaret, amateur biographer, is hired to write the biography of one of the greatest and most illusive novelists of all time, Vida Winter.  As Margaret begins her task she asks to be reassured that the story she is being told is the truth.  The remainder of the book is Vida's truth and Margaret's effort to untangle it and find her own.

This story is a well-written mash up of Flowers in the Attic and Rebecca or perhaps Jane Eyre.  If you are a fan of Gothic romances this book is one that you will probably enjoy.  In the spirit of the Gothic romances of the past you'll find a heroine with her own mystery, intrigue and even a bit of danger.  Setterfield uses all the expected twists and turns, mistaken identity, ghosts, the moors, a special garden and an imposing house to weave her tale.  This is not normally a genre that I read but I found the characters and plot enough to hold my attention and pull me through to the end even if only to confirm my own guesses for the ending.

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