Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

I loved this book. It is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day with a cup of tea (or cocoa). I didn't know what to expect when I plucked this book from a bag of paperback donations at the library, but something about the cover intrigued me (I know, 'Don't judge a book by it's cover,' but let's be honest, we all do it, it's human nature). Within reading the first chapter, I was hooked.

"The Thirteenth Tale" feels old and musky and musty and dusty. It's mysterious atmosphere is all-encompassing. Immediately the tone is set, and I was ready to be absorbed by this story. The way Vida Winter descries her life, through a series of stories feels authentic and intimate. I wanted to know everything about her and uncover the mystery of her life. Sad and shadowed, her life unfolds itself in pieces to explain the woman she has become. It is storytelling at its best.

My one issue with the book is Margaret's obsession with her dead twin and the ridiculous "Postscriptum." I understand twins have a inexplicable connection, but Margaret's seeing her twin's ghost and then being visited by her (shouldn't Moira have still been a baby, by the way?) didn't really add anything to the story; I think it was largely unnecessary. But don't let that deter you; this book is absolutely worth reading.

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