Diane Setterfield is an author I had never heard of before. The Thirteenth Tale is not a particularly “grabbing” title, in my opinion. Still, I had heard a lot of talk about what an amazing book this is… So, I decided to give it a shot. The beginning of the story was a bit slow-going, I will admit. But the mystery and the twists and turns later on more than make up for the slow start.
Margaret Lea is the daughter of a famous bookseller, and a biographer in her own right. Vida Winter is a world-renowned author with a very mysterious past. Out of nowhere, Vida contacts Margaret because she finally wants to tell her life’s story, but Margaret does not know whether to trust Vida. People have tried to get the truth out of Vida before, but she has always just told them stories. After all, she muses, stories are more interesting than the truth! In my humble opinion, Vida’s life “story” is far more interesting than she admits.
I will not tell you whether Vida finally tells the truth about her past or if she merely fabricates another tale. Neither will I reveal any of the mind-blowing plot twists. What I will tell you, though, is that this story will likely stick with you for a long time. I keep thinking back to these characters and wondering if the author will ever write a story in which I can learn more about them. I doubt she will, since it seems that the mystery is the entire point. And if you love mysteries, this is certainly a book for you!