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My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

RIP III... The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Atria (September 12, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0743298020

(Book 2 of 4)

Amazon.com
Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.
There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."

She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."

"I am a biographer, I work with facts."

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told. --Valerie Ryan


So.. this is my second time reading this book. I enjoyed it so much last year, and continually talked about it for such a long time, that I thought I should reread it and be sure I wasn't mistaken.

I wasn't mistaken.

This is such a good book! The writing is superb! Ms Setterfield certainly knows how to say just enough to make you keep on reading!

Vida Winter, prolific author, begins her tale by telling Margaret that she was going to tell her a story about twins. As her story unfolds so do the tales of all those that lived in the house, and even some who did not. All is not how it seems to Margaret... or is it?

As Vida voices her story and Margaret pieces the tale together questions arise, but she has promised Vida that she would ask no questions, and so you begin to ask the same questions and you find you can't put the book down because you need to find the answers! Not that Margaret doesn't have enough with Vida's story, but her own life seems to interrupt.

There is much to be said for this story, not the least is that it is creepy! It's filled with twists and turns, anger and mysteries, it is by far, one of the best written books I've read. Not that I am any sort of expert about writing, but it says a lot that I have read this book not once.. but twice, and it's a book that would be considered.. not something I would normally read.

I said it last year and I'll say it again this year... This is a Fabulous book! I thank Carl profoundly for making The Thirteenth Tale a suggested read for those joining the RIP Challenge last year, and hope that everyone who has it on their list for this year enjoys it as much as I did!!


21 Comments:

Blogger Cath said...

I must say I like your copy with the stack of books on, much better than mine which is the run-of-the-mill UK paperback and very dull. I shall be reading it soon and if I like it enough will treat myself to a hardback like yours. Nice review, Pat.

7:06 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: I think the cover is what pushed me over the edge to try this book last year! I should have mentioned the artist, Honi Werner. I am surprised that there isn't a second book by this author on the horizon yet. I really think you will like this book!!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I'm glad to hear this was just as good the second time around! I'm really looking forward to reading it.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I really liked this book. I think you may have been the one to convince me to read it in the first place. Wasn't this supposed to be made into a movie at some point?

12:52 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

nymeth: I don't think you will be disappointed! (least I hope not! lol)

ladytink: I was surprised that since I only read it a year ago that I'd enjoy it every bit as much this time, but I did! Ohhhh, I don't remember hearing that it might become a movie! Ohhh, but it should!!

12:55 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

You just reminded me yet again why I need to reread this one. Such a good book. I may have to curl up with it this weekend.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Went back for seconds, eh? Sounds like it was even better the second time around! This was definitely one of my favorite reads of last year and I agree with you that her writing is top notch. I just wish she'd come out with another damn book!!!! I'm dying for more stories from her!

4:55 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

heather: it's worth it!! curl up and have a good read!

Chris: I did a search of her name hoping I'd find an article or interview that she was working on something ...nada. Can't find anything more recent than when thirteenth tale came out 2 yrs ago.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I haven't heard a bad word about this one...I definitely need to make it a priority. Glad you got as much enjoyment the second time around!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Alice Teh said...

Shopping time!

4:58 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

debi: I do think I read 2 people who weren't crazy over the 13th Tale, but considering how many reviews I've read.. that's nothing!

Alice teh: LOL.. hope you enjoy it if you get it!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Rhinoa said...

I love your pictures. I picked this up a while ago cheap from a supermarket but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Seems I really should!

8:14 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

rhinoa: it's a well written mystery! I hope you like it when you finally read it!

7:40 AM  
Blogger mari said...

This was a great book. I just read it (and reviewed it) not too long ago but before RIP began. What a perfect book for this challenge.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Paperback Reader said...

I finished the book yesterday and will blog on it soon!
Thanks for the warm welcome.

8:49 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

paperback: I'll watch for your post! hope you liked it!

3:01 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

You're welcome. I thank Danielle at A Work in Progress for pointing it out on her blog before it came out last year. That is why it ended up on my radar. I'm thrilled you've managed to do what I've been wanting to do, which is reread this book. I am even more thrilled that it held up so well to a second reading. It is such a well crafted, rich story that even knowing the details I can imagine it is a pure delight to read it again.

2:17 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

carl: I'd say "it's funny, how in just one year you can forget so many small things that make up this book"... but at my age, it isn't so dang funny!... Actually, I pretty much remembered it, but did forget enough small things that it kept my interest every bit as much as the first time!
I'm not sure what it is in a book that makes it a book we know instantly that we'd want to read again, but this is one of those books.. I will read it again one day.. just maybe not a year from now lol.. maybe

2:21 PM  
Blogger Framed said...

I'm really excited to read this book this year. Thanks heavens for challenges to keep me on track.

10:34 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

framed: there is no "one book for everyone", but this one seems to be favored by most who read it.. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Quixotic said...

I utterly adored this book when I first read it, and I think I'm definitely due for a re-read in the near future. Glad you enjoyed it the second time around!

8:19 AM  

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