Title: The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Gothic Fiction
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A beautiful, gothic ode to reading and books, as well as a mystery, love story, and family drama, The Thirteenth Tale snatched me up and didn't let go--a favorite of the new year!
Margaret Lea is a biographer. One day while working in her father's shop, she gets a mysterious letter from a reclusive author, inviting her out to her home to take her biography. With some reluctance and nervous, Margaret agrees--and she and Vida Winters both fact the pasts they've kept hidden, all the while discovering some secrets that may have been better off buried..
What I enjoyed:
-The gorgeous prose that snatched me up and held me by the throat from the first paragraph
-Margaret, and her fierce love for her books, though she is trying to live a life apart of them, and her strength--I loved the character development that was seen throughout the novel with her
-Vida, and her sharp contrasts throughout the novel between bitter old woman and a lost girl trying to deal with the ghosts of her past
-Aurelius, sweet Aurelius, who wants nothing more than a family
-The interweaving stories of both past and present
-The ending--I loved the way everything tied together
-The creepy, gothic feel of the novel, lovingly evoking feelings of Jane Eyre and Rebecca
-The genre-bending of the novel
What I didn't like:
-There was nothing I didn't love about this book! Wonderful! Next on deck: Pirates!, by Celia Rees!