Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The Thirteeth Tale
Our next selection for Book Club, meeting on October 15 is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld. This is one of the most intriguing novels that I have read lately. The Thirteenth Tale is the story of Ms. Vida Winter, a renown British author as she is just discovering that she is terminally ill. The other notable character, Margaret Lea, daughter of a local antique book dealer and biographer, one day finds an unexpected letter from Ms. Winter requesting that Margaret write her biography. As Margaret tries to collect the vivid details of Ms. Winter's childhood, she finds herself digging into her own past.
Margaret visits the enormous Gothic home of Ms. Winters in order to interview her for the biography. Unfortunately, Ms. Winter has more experience at weaving tales and she finds it difficult to stick to the facts. The Thirteenth Tale is, of course, Ms. Winter's life story. As she shares her history with Margaret, we discover a most unusual family, riddled with tragedies, lies, ghosts, evil, incest and many secrets. This novel is reminiscent of the Gothic mysteries and novels by Agatha Christie, Charlotte Bronte, Barbara Michaels and Victoria Holt. So if you find their writing captivating, you will not want to miss this debut novel by Diane Setterfield.