Tag Archives: Gothic

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of The Thirteenth Tale: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Atria Books (September 12, 2006), File Size: 768 KB, Print Length: 416 pages, Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385662858, Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc, ASIN: B000JMKRKC

Margaret receives a mysterious letter from the famous author Vida Winters, and Vida is ready to finally relate her dark secret tale, but Margaret has her own secret haunting past. During her research, and during the tale, a ghost is seen lurking in the old mansion at Angelfield estate, an old mansion that was burned and destroyed many years ago.

The Thirteenth Tale is Diane Setterfield’s debut novel. It is a gothic suspense novel and the story moves between the past and the present. The story is told by two people: an introverted biographer Margaret Lea as well as the fictional author Vida Winter. Margaret’s tale is told in a first person narrative, and Vida’s tale starts out in a third person narrative and then moves into a first person narrative. These two stories are about each of the character’s life.

One of the themes in this book is twins, which Ms. Setterfield has an interesting way of presenting, and at times a twin is seen in the reflection in the glass, or in a mirror, and in a shadow but often she appears pale and colorless. The Thirteenth Tale is the untold story of fictional author Vida Winter and is revealed by the end of the book.

I recommend this book as a very good read, and this standalone story is told in an interesting and intriguing manner.  The characters are unique but the story is sad and somewhat haunting.

Favorite Quote:

For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider ilk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic. (Location 202)


To Purchase: “The Thirteenth Tale” from Amazon, click here or on picture above