Book: The Thirteenth Tale, By Diane Setterfield

2013 May 24

Carissa’s GoodNCrazy Rating: 4 Stars

The Thirteenth Tale is a book about books.
And a frail and dying author.
And a young woman who is strangely called upon to ‘interview’ the dying author for the last time.

One of the main characters is an author of many many tales, who has been interviewed many times before, but she freely admits she lied about her own life in every single interview.
Before this LAST one of course.
She swears she will tell the truth. (But will she?)
Maybe her real story will be her ‘Thirteenth Tale’… ?

This book is mostly a light read, and takes place in the countryside in England.
Large old homes are described; both current buildings with elaborate gardens and decrepit falling down used-to-be stately estates.

Ala Downton Abbey fame.

It starts a bit slow as you learn about the other main character; a young woman who spends more time with dead people in ancient biographies than she does with the living. She has a few of her own secrets and her story unravels at the same time as you begin to figure out the ghosts in the elderly author’s world.

Once the two characters meet and the story-within-a-story begins to unfold you’ll be hooked.
I read the whole thing in about 4 late night evenings.

Wacky characters, deranged nutballs, well meaning-yet mistaken caretakers and a mildly evil doctor and his would-be governess-turned-lover round out the rest of the characters. Fun times ahead.

I can honestly say I was surprised several times in this book, with various plot turns and hooks and (rather ashamedly) I completely missed the BIG mystery of the whole book! I’d love to know if you figure it all out way before it becomes obvious? I was enjoying the story WAY too much to be digesting and figuring out the missing pieces.

I wouldn’t pick up a book I was told is modeled after ‘gothic ghost stories’ so I won’t tell you it is.
If you need a great summer vacation read? This is the perfect book.
Grab your sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat and pull up a pool chair!

This was a great bookclub read, don’t expect a deep philosophical discussion but everyone was dying to talk about all the mysteries of the book unfolding.

Love to know if you’ve read this book?
I bought and read the book via Kindle.
Amazon Link: The Thirteenth Tale

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