Friday, April 15, 2011

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - Book Club Read

Book Cover from Amaxon

Amazon Product Description

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness -- featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

This was a re-read for me. I first read this book shortly after it was published.  I enjoyed it immensely and was thrilled when my book club picked it for the April read.  This is certainly one book that I don't mind re-reading.

The Thirteenth Tale is a dark, gothic, rainy afternoon read.  And yes, it does have a certain creepy factor - somewhat reminiscent of  V. C. Andrews.  It is not a quick read - not a fast paced thriller, but I did find it to be a compelling read - hard to put down. Setterfield's prose is beautifully descriptive. The ending is wonderfully unpredictable!  If you enjoy books by the Bronte sisters, this a book for you.

I'm curious to hear what the members of my book club think.

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