The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

A Novel

Book - 2006 | 1st Atria Books hardcover ed
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Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2006
Edition: 1st Atria Books hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780743298025
Branch Call Number: F SETTE-D
Characteristics: 406 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: 13th tale

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Book Club – The Thirteenth Tale

Join us at Wheelock Branch to discuss The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, October 3, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past… (more)

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Aug 18, 2020

If Daphne DuMauriere and Emily Bronte had ever collaborated on a book it might well have been "The Thirteenth Tale". I loved this book -- great Gothic detail, intriguing mystery, character study of the pathology of a particular pair of twins -- all told with grace that will keep your mind turning and churning throughout. One of my favourite reads during this socially-deprived plague year.

May 08, 2020

After receiving a letter from an acclaimed and reticent writer, Vida Winter, Margaret Lea, an amateur biographer, is asked to write down Winter’s biography. After reading Winter’s stories, Margaret is immersed and agrees to travel to Winter’s home, accepting the offer to become her biographer. While listening to Winter’s life story, Margaret learns of Winter’s dark family secrets and becomes immersed into the tale. Both women have to confront their pasts and the ghosts they carry with them. This book carries a certain gothic feel along its plotline, weaving in and out from past and present. Fans of suspense and gothic fiction should love this book.

IndyPL_CatherineS Apr 16, 2020

An amazing modern version of the classic Gothic mystery genre. It is perfectly creepy. The English countryside setting is perfect for the tale that unfolds. Set aside a day and a half to devour this one.

andkel Jan 28, 2020

Reading the first chapter of this book, I thought, I am not going to get through this book. It has some flowery language to it and a slow start. I like a good story, give me a good plot.

After the first chapter, the story starts to pick up, especially when Margaret meets Ms. Winters and hears the beginning of Ms. Winters' story. A great mystery and lots of twists. I enjoyed the story and trying to solve the mystery. I could even appreciate the flowery language that really gave me a beautiful picture to the story.

It ended up being one of my favorite books I have read this year.

Jan 25, 2020

S.H. : Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield (This has the air of a fairy tale but with realistic people. I've never read a book that feels quite like this one. Her other book, The Thirteenth Tale, is another of my favorite mysteries. Plot twists for days!!)

Nov 12, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Setterfield skillfully weaves the tale in a way that maintains the suspense and intrigue until the end, which (in my opinion) far too many authors don't do well. A marvelous debut novel!

(Of course it has nothing directly to do with the writing l but I also love the cover art on the dust jacket!)

sjpl_rebekah Aug 22, 2019

This book has a slow start, but stick with it. It's a twisted tale set in a Gothic mansion that's shrouded in mystery. The ending of this book surprised me in a way few books have in my lifetime.

Jul 07, 2019

A wonderful novel for a lover of books and words. It only missed being a 4-star rating for me because I think it could have used a little editing in the middle. Margaret is a semi-professional biographer who is selected by Vida Winter, England's greatest living writer, to pen Vida's true life story. Vida has spent her career dodging questions about her past; indeed, instead of the truth she tells a different wild story to every interviewer. But tell the truth to Margaret she does. And a dark, twisted, gothic tale it is. A big, chewy, haunting, and beautifully written book.

AnnabelleLee27 Apr 06, 2019

A gothic-style tale of suspense with many literary references and numerous twists and turns. Themes include family secrets/scandal, passion, murder, ghosts, and the connection between twins (the best part!). An entertaining and quick read.

Mar 25, 2019

Not a bad book if you have nothing else to do. But the book is kind of like a Dan Brown Etc all wrapped into one.

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May 08, 2020

lkim17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Feb 09, 2018

firebird770 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

May 22, 2016

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 17, 2013

Nemo28 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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May 22, 2016

Sexual Content: Incest


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Lauren Jul 27, 2008

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth itself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.


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