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Diane Setterfield, Copyright: unknown (information welcome!)

Diane Setterfield
born: 1964
in: Theale, UK

2006 .|. The Thirteenth Tale First Chapter from the official Homepage .|. Bookworm's Comment

Official Homepage: www.thethirteenthtale.com

Diane Setterfield - The Thirteenth Tale
"The Thirtheenth Tale" (Atria Books, Paperback, 1st edition, 2006, read: May 2007)
"Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories - equally as notorious for its missing thirtheenth tale - has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to reveal the truth about her extraordinary life and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida delves back in time to the life she meant to bury for good. Struck by a curious parallel between Vida's story and her own Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness - but can't ignore her suspicions about Vida's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves."

Do you remember "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre"? Old mansions in foggy landscapes, family tragedies, everlasting love, murder, betrayal and harrowing destinies? "The Thirteenth Tale" is a worthy addition to this genre, full of mystery and suspense up to the last page.
Margaret, a booksellers daughter and lover of beautiful books herself receives the appointment to write down the life story of Vida Winter, an enormously successful author not unlike Barbara Cartland or Nora Roberts. In the past the author has told fairy tales about her life, and now its time to tell the truth. Her story is so incredible that it could have been imagined by Emily Brontë or Jane Austen. In addition to that Margaret tries to get behind the secrets of her own life and help Ms. Winter to find peace in the end.

The comparison with "Wuthering Heights" should by no means imply that this is an 'ancient' or 'dusty' story. But the parallels are distinctive. The story is very gothic and so extremely tragic as it can only happen in books of a certain kind. But those are the stories one remembers even years later and who will become classics.
From beginning til end I was mesmerized by the story because this wasn't something I had expected. I really hope the author will write more beautiful stories like this. There really are too few good books like this on the market. I will keep an eye on Ms. Setterfield and report about the next things to come!
[Dorothée Büttgen, January 08]

More great reviews at Bookworm's Lair:

Alessandro Baricco - Ocean Sea     Anne Fadiman - Ex Libris     Ann Patchett - Bel Canto     Alice Sebold - The Lovely Bones

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