Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield--A Review

Good Morning Peeps!Wow, all the moisture we got yesterday has frozen over in the night and it is gonna be one icy commute for the work force this morning.   Be careful out there folks!  What's it like where you live?

Life in my cozy little nook of the world will soon be changing again.   My son and his wife are divorcing and I  am charged with cleaning out a junk room in order to make room for my grandkids every other week when he will have them.   It is so sad when families fall apart and so not right.   The two boys are teen-aged and almost teen-aged, so not expecting this to be the smoothest transition for any of them.  I also hope I can encourage them to read more and game less.    That will be a challenge for all of us!

Well, today I want to review The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It was a different kind of a read, but enjoyable.

The Synopsis from Goodreads:

Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story. 

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets... and the ghosts that haunt them still.

From My Perspective:

I rated this story 4 Winks.   It became a bedtime read and therefore took a little longer to finish.  I wasn't quite sure about it in my mind until about the third or fourth chapters, but I enjoyed visiting the characters every evening until the book was read from start to finish.

Setterfield is a British novelist and I believe this was her debut novel.   She wrote with a strong storyline and her characters were fleshed out beautifully.   Margaret Lea was away from home for approximately a year, transcribing the life of Vida Winters.  As the story progressed, we have many questions along the way and for Margaret Lea, it was no different.   Many questions arose, but she had agreed not to ask those questions ; not to get ahead of the story.   As any biographical author can attest, the facts must bear the story out.   Margaret Lea also sought to bear the truth of the matter during her times away from Miss Winter's side.   I actually felt like I was in the story myself as I read.

The life of Miss Winter was indeed shrouded in mystery and in a form of madness with the March family at Angelfield.  It was a tale of mystery and turmoil during her childhood years.   Truthfully to say more, would reveal portions of the story that the reader must seek for themselves by reading.   It's a tale that captivated this reader and has lingered in my mind since. 

Have a blessed day reading my peeps!


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  

1 comment:

Jill of All Trades said...

It's sunny and promising to be a warmer day today. Planning on tilling the garden with the breath of spring on my shoulder.

I have this book on my Kindle but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Thanks for the review.