Monday, August 29, 2011
The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield is a wonderful gothic mystery with interesting characters and descriptive writing. When Margaret Lea is called to the home of reclusive author Vida Winter to write her biography, she has little idea of what to expect. She has never read one of the author's books and only knows that she has given a different account of her life's story to each reporter she has spoken to throughout the years. How will Margaret know if Vida Winter is actually telling her true story this time?
The writing in The Thirteenth Tale captured me from the beginning. The initial setting of a bookshop specializing in old manuscripts and a strange letter for the narrator set the scene for a journey into the past. While the setting soon changes to Vida Winter's residence, much of the story takes place in the library surrounded by classic books as well as those written by the author in the story. Overall this is the perfect book for lovers of mysteries and books. Vida Winter's story is intense and well paced. At times I hated to have this story interrupted with Margaret Lea's observations and her back story. While there were times that Margaret's journeys did add to Vida's story, it felt like they pulled me out of the most interesting parts of the story. The mystery is a complex one but resolved to the reader's satisfaction at the end. While there were a few parts of the story that were confusing and some questions that I didn't find answers to, I fully admit that I function in a state of exhaustion most of the time these days and it is very possible that I missed subtle clues that were given along the way.
I read The Thirteenth Tale for the Reading with Tequila Book Club on Goodreads. It is now part of my personal collection and no one in the publishing industry had any expectation of a review.
The September book club selection is The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.