The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Review)

Book Review, Grown Up Books
The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Age range: Adult | Paperback: 432 pages | Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 9, 2007)


About The Thirteenth Tale

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

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 she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.


Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo


My Thoughts on The Thirteenth Tale

Wow. What to love the most? The setting? The characters? That gorgeous, luscious writing? This is my favorite book of the year, hands down. It’s an intriguing story. the author draws you in slowly, wrapping the tentacles of the story around you like a cocoon until you are trapped. The only way to escape is to finish the book.

And what a book it is! I could go on about it forever. The scandal, the secrets, and the slow unfolding of the mystery is so delicious, I want to read it again and again. This is definitely going on my “To Read Again” list because one time around is simply not enough for me.

If you’ve never read The Thirteenth Tale, I highly recommend doing so. It’s brilliant. I loved the twists and turns and the way everything unfolded. Plus, the writing is simply beautiful. It romanticizes reading, writing, and storytelling. It’s fabulous.

Content: Some violence and implied sex, but overall, it was pretty clean.

Source: I bought this book.


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  • Reply
    October 18, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Fun story: This was the first book my husband ever bought me, long before we were married. Whena guy buys you books- he’s a keeper.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin’

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      October 18, 2016 at 10:12 am

      I agree! A man that will buy you books is hard to find. And what a great first book to get from him!

  • Reply
    Amy // Sunlit Pages
    October 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I just read this book for the first time, too! It’s a perfect October read.

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