The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

[a Novel]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2006
Average Rating:
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When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny. 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.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster Audio,, 2006.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780743564182
0743564189
Characteristics: audio file
1 online resource (1 sound file (15 hr., 36 min., 15 sec.)) : digital.
Additional Contributors: Tanner, Jill
Amato, Bianca
Alternative Title: 13th tale
Summary: When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny. 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.

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JCLEmilyD Jan 25, 2017

I'm usually not a fan of scary or horror stories, but this story is a mystery with many twists and turns that I found quite intriguing and just a little spooky.

Notes: I listened to this book and found the narration very well done. In the early chapters there are a few vivid scenes of self mutilation and harm to others, I suggest skipping those parts if you're a bit squeamish like me.

Chapel_Hill_MollyL Oct 31, 2014

If you like Jane Eyre or Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, you will love this book. Literary, mysterious, and not a little creepy, this story is fabulously plotted and the characters are appealing. Audiobook comes with the highest marks--fantastic readers.

s
SeaMom2one
Sep 15, 2013

The 13th Tale is an awesome book!!

But on a stormy autumn/winter evening being read to by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner is paradise! Thank you Diane for finding such talent to tell your story!

SusanMarkLandis Sep 13, 2011

Really enjoyed both the story and the telling.

c
cebbk
Jan 15, 2011

Writing quality: 5 stars. Beautiful.
Plot intricacy & execution: 5 stars. Very intriguing. I recommend a second pass, reading or listening, to fully appreciate how well crafted this work is.
Recording: 5 stars. Well done.
For use in book club discussion: 5 stars.

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