Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers 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, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.
The Thirteenth Tale is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and 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.
©2006 Diane Setterfield (P)2007 Simon & Schuster Audio
"Bianca Amato is stunning as Margaret....[her] respect for the power of story and the written word is heard in every utterance. Jill Tanner accomplishes a tour de force as the enigmatic and mysterious Vida. In conversation her voice has the hesitancy and fragility of an elderly woman, but her voice takes on the strength and power of a master storyteller as she weaves her spellbinding life story." (AudioFile)
"Readers will be mesmerized by this story-within-a-story tinged with the eeriness of Rebecca and the willfulness of Jane Eyre. The author skillfully keeps the plot moving by unfurling a new twist in each chapter and leaves no strand untucked at the surprising and satisfying conclusion. A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled." (Booklist)
Sometimes the narration spoils an audio book. Most of the time the narration is fine, and I don't regret "reading" the audio version. But, occasionally, an audio book comes along that is SO perfect in the format that I can't imagine reading it any other way.
The Thirteenth Tale is such a book for me. It is extremely well read, and the story carried me away. It's been quite some time since I've read a book with strong Gothic undertones. But, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found myself caring about the principal characters and was caught quite off-guard by one of the plot twists.
I didn't care for how a couple of the characters' problems were wrapped-up at the end of the book (don't want to give anything away!). But, it didn't detract from the overall experience of The Thirteenth Tale.
Normally I only purchase the classics, but found the idea of this book to be too interesting to pass up. I was thrilled to be ensconced with the story from the very beginning. The narrations are excellent, the book was superbly written and the plot twists ever so slightly (less than a mystery, but more than a drama). I was terribly disappointed when the story was done. Diane Setterfield has done an amazing job at story telling. I would highly recommend this book, even if you don't think it is your normal style or genre.
I was really hoping that I would like this book, but I didn't. I was having such a hard time staying interested that I stopped listening to it altogether! I hate to waste money, so I will try again but the plot is ploddingly slow! I hope that something happens soon.
I read so many different opinions on this book I thought I should listen to it for myself. It had its good moments but I haven't been able to finish it. It didn't keep my attention.
I found this story addictive and was very pleased with the way the tangled web became unraveled in the end. I really enjoyed the narration as well- it was very engaging. I truly hope they make this story into a movie. I've already started casting the characters in my head. I will definitely listen to this story again in the future!
I probably wouldn't have listened beyond the paaaaainfully slow and aimless-feeling first couple of hours, but I was trapped in a car with nothing else to listen to. I'm glad I did, though. This is a very atmospheric book that draws you into its little world. It requires some suspension of disbelief to really get into the story (like, about everything you think you know about how human beings behave), but I ultimately found it pretty entertaining.
I enjoy character analysis and mystery novels, and this was an excellent combination of both genres. The characters are intriguing and the plot is rich in the unexpected. If you are a Margaret Atwood fan, you will savor this book. The narration by two different readers for the main characters enhanced the quality of this rendition. This was a great listen.
This book was beautifully narrated and such an enjoyable listen. If you love books and stories this one is for you. I hope the author writes more, but if this is her only work I would understand. It is simply perfect.
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