"A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth." Vida Winter
When I was given a brief synopsis of this book, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, I immediately signed on; it sounded right up my alley.
It's a story about a story, filled with half-truths, secrets, mysteries and scandal. LOTS of scandal. Definitely my kind of book.
Conjoined twins, feral twins, death and sex and murder and mysterious disappearances, twisted love and even a smidge of romance.
We have a young bookish girl who works in her father's bookshop and a reclusive, elderly author of 'popular fiction'.
The author, Vida, has kept her past vague and mostly hidden...but as she comes to the end of her life she decides, once and for all, to bring forth the truth--but in her own way. Vida chooses Margaret Lea (who has no particular fame other than a well-researched, well-written biographical essay) to record Vida's life story. As Margaret hears the story, her own story becomes entwined with Vida's life.
There are twists and turns around every corner, with a hint of goth and a taste of otherworldliness--this was the perfect book with which to lie a-bed on a rainy evening with a cup of hot chocolate.
I think I put the book down once...because I had to pee. This book captured my imagination right away and sucked me right down into the story and didn't let go until the end (which, I should add, was great--you know how I like all the ends tied up neatly so THIS was quite satisfactory).
Really, I wish I could tell you more...and let's face it, I could if I really wanted to...but I won't. READ IT.
Before I got the book I read this description: "...tinged with the eeriness of Rebecca and the willfulness of Jane Eyre" and I sort of agree, but in my opinion, the language of the book put me in mind of Barbara Michaels or--even better!--Phyllis A. Whitney. Yeah, it sort of had that Phyllis feel to it.
Did you know how much I love Phyllis A. Whitney? A lot.
Don't take my word for it, read it yourself. And check out the interactive website right here.
Besides, in a couple of weeks there won't be any new episodes of your favorite TV shows for awhile and you'll need new books to read.
Make The Thirteenth Tale one of them.