The Thirteenth Taleby Diane Setterfield
The story begins with Margaret Lea, the withdrawn, bookish daughter of a London bookseller. She has always love books, taken refuge in them, and even written one of her own—a story of siblings. She is contacted by famous author, Vida Winter, to pen a biography of the writer. The true story. Vida is also known for weaving tall tales of her own life when being interviewed. She hires Margaret to write the final, true story of her life.
Margaret is sequestered to Vida’s private estate where Vida tells Margaret the history of her family: the good, the bad, and the very ugly. The reader learns about Uncle Charlie, his wild sister, Isabelle, their unhappy parents, Isabelle’s twins, Adeline and Emmeline, and their caregivers. All the while, Vida is getting more ill and pushes herself to finish the story. The story may be dark at times, but is equal parts mysterious and thrilling. The subplot with Margaret and her struggle to come to terms with the death of her twin was a bit dull.
Overall, the Thirteenth Tale is a wonderful novel, with deep characters and surprise plot twists. This is one of those books you just want to curl up on the couch with on a rainy day.
Additional suggested reading: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
Jen is wife to Mr. Incredible, mommy to Dash and *tries* to balance a career in commercial real estate during the day. She blogs about nothing in particular over at A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That.