The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield’s novel, The Thirteenth Tale, is a story that will captivate you to the very end. The book begins with characters Margaret Lea, an amateur biographer, and Vida Winter, a famous fiction author. Vida is well known for her mysterious past, and has made up many stories about her childhood, none of them being true. As she nears old age, Vida finds it within herself to finally tell her story, and when Margaret is asked to write this biography, she is a bit skeptical, questioning her own ability to write such a piece. Eventually, she decides to take up the project, and the story she discovers is far more than she would ever expect. Vida’s past is riddled with tragedies and family secrets. She tells Margaret her tale, a story of wild twins, ghost girls, and a crazed family.
Setterfield keeps her audience on the edge of their seats with every twist and turn of the novel. In the story of Vida’s life, nothing is ever as it seems, and the tale will leave you shocked at its outcome. I enjoyed this book because Setterfield’s execution of the plot was brilliant; the reader feels like a detective, searching intensely for the truth. When all is finally discovered, you are left with such an elaborate story that it will dwell on your mind for days. I can honestly say The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all-time favorite books. It is well written, suspenseful, and will leave the reader intrigued by the tale of the tragic Angelfield Family.
~Melissa J., Class of ’12
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