HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Loading...

The Thirteenth Tale (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Diane Setterfield

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,628779155 (4)4 / 973
Member:nmhale
Title:The Thirteenth Tale
Authors:Diane Setterfield
Info:Washington Square Press (2007), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction

Work details

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Author) (2006)

  1. 552
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (norabelle414, ladybug74, Contusions, Voracious_Reader)
    norabelle414: Both gothic novels, with a big ol' creepy house, and theme of hidden family secrets
    Voracious_Reader: Both beautiful, almost Gothic tales told through the eyes of precocious unusual young women.
  2. 501
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (ladybug74)
  3. 372
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (brightbel, coffee.is.yum, caflores)
  4. 233
    The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) by Wilkie Collins (391)
  5. 160
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (starfishian)
  6. 131
    The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (library_gal, Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: Pretty much the same plot, secrets, family ties and tragedy set in the ancestral home.
  7. 154
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (rstaedter)
  8. 101
    The Lace Reader: A Novel by Brunonia Barry (avisannschild)
  9. 1811
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (starfishian, rmjp518, kethonna, elizabeth.a.coates)
    elizabeth.a.coates: Both centre around books/literature, both are eloquently written, both have an element of mystery
  10. 114
    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (sruszala, lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Gothic tales of devoted twin sisters, love, and death.
  11. 70
    Affinity by Sarah Waters (Citizenjoyce)
    Citizenjoyce: The ambiance is the same. Both stories draw the reader in with promises of deeper mysteries to solve.
  12. 93
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (julie_e_meyer)
  13. 50
    The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (amyblue, kethonna)
  14. 50
    Florence and Giles by John Harding (shelfoflisa)
  15. 63
    The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (lahni)
  16. 41
    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: More creepy siblings and a misguided governess
  17. 30
    Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Isolated old ladies benefit by telling their stories to younger women.
  18. 20
    Phantom by Susan Kay (Bookmarque)
  19. 20
    The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh (ForeignCircus)
  20. 64
    The Woman in White Part One by Wilkie Collins (caflores)

(see all 39 recommendations)

to get (11)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (742)  Spanish (7)  Italian (4)  Swedish (4)  French (4)  Norwegian (3)  German (3)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  All (1)  All (1)  All (776)
Showing 1-5 of 742 (next | show all)
‘Everybody has a story. It’s like families. You might not know who they are, might have lost them, but they exist all the same. You might drift apart or you might turn your back on them, but you can’t say you haven’t got them. Same goes for stories." So says Vida Winter, the fictional subject of the ongoing interview that forms the central focus here, as told to her authorized biographer, Margaret Lea. And over the course of the story, we learn quite a bit about the lives and histories of both the world-famous-yet-mysterious old author Winter and the bookish, young biographer Lea, including why they were drawn to each other in the first place. There are lots of psychological aspects to this one, particularly with regard to the psychology of twins. And an interesting eponymous mystery, as well. Overall, if I had to summarize this one with one word, that word would be "uneven." At times, the story flowed smoothly and lyrically and the pages turned and turned. At other times, things slowed to a clunky crawl and it was something of an effort to continue on while hoping that things would take a turn back to the better. All in all, the first and last thirds of this one are terrific, and the author does well with both the table-setting and the resolution aspects of things. On the other hand, the middle third leaves a lot to be desired and really needs some stronger editing. If I were rating the beginning and the end, I'd give each four stars; if grading only the middle, I'd give it one. But it's worth slogging through the slow and awkward parts because things ultimately end as strongly as they began, both in terms of the quality of the narrative and the ultimate fates of all involved. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
Absulutely fabulous and captivating novel, dual stories combine with an unexpected (though totally right there the entire time if only you look close enough) twist at the ending. Absolutely wonderful, I simply could not put it down. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Uno stile di scrittura affascinante e una bella storia famigliare. ( )
  Angela.Me | Jun 10, 2017 |
Very well written and the author obviously loves literature, but it became tiresome after a while ( )
  AuthorGabrielle | May 28, 2017 |
Setterfield's Gothic mystery is a love letter to book enthusiasts and an expertly crafted haunting tale of murder, insanity, and family secrets. Mysterious and illusive world-renowned author Vida Winter sends a letter to misanthropic Margaret Lea, devoted bibliophile and antiquarian bookseller, requesting her to pen Winter's biography as her health fails. Compelled by Winter's mysterious nature and a desire to learn more about her writing, Margaret painstakingly transcribes the writer's dark past as she struggles to cope with her own ghosts. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 742 (next | show all)
A family saga with Gothic overtones, dark secrets, lost twins, a tragic fire, a missing manuscript and over-obvious nods to Jane Eyre, Rebecca and The Woman in White, it reads like something a creative writing class might write as a committee, for the sole purpose of coming up with a novel that would suit a book group (and tellingly, there are "Reading Group Study Notes" at the back suggesting topics for discussion).
 
The Thirteenth Tale is not without fault. The gentle giant Aurelius is a stock character, and the ending is perhaps a little too concerned with tying up all loose ends. But it is a remarkable first novel, a book about the joy of books, a riveting multi-layered mystery that twists and turns, and weaves a quite magical spell for most of its length.
 
"The Thirteenth Tale" keeps us reading for its nimble cadences and atmospheric locales, as well as for its puzzles, the pieces of which, for the most part, fall into place just as we discover where the holes are. And yet, for all its successes -- and perhaps because of them -- on the whole the book feels unadventurous, content to rehash literary formulas rather than reimagine them.
 
A book that you wake in the middle of the night craving to get back to...Timeless, charming, a pure pleasure to read...The Thirteenth Tale is a book to savor a dozen times.
added by rainpebble | edit~The San Diego Union-Tribune
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Setterfield, DianeAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammer, HegeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Järnebrand, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moksunen, SalmeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, JillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
All children mythologize their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won't be the truth; it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story. -Vida Winter, Tales of Change and Desperation
Dedication
In memory

Ivy Dora and Fred Harold Morris

Corina Ethel and Ambrose Charles Setterfield
First words
It was November.
Quotations
Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes-characters even-caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.
My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie. - Vida Winter
Tell me the truth.
Of course I loved books more than people. Of course I valued Jane Eye over the anonymous stranger with his hand on the lever. Of course all of Shakespeare was worth more than a human life. Of course. Unlike Miss Winter, I had been ashamed to say so.
… ten years of marriage is usually enough to cure marital affection …
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth itself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.

All children mythologize their birth...


So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
116 avail.
549 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5 6
1 45
1.5 12
2 225
2.5 64
3 799
3.5 293
4 1773
4.5 275
5 1543

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,157,058 books! | Top bar: Always visible