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)
I chose this book based simply on reviews (mostly positive). I was not disappointed. It's a classic story of a toxic family with secrets that are only revealed on the deathbed. I admit that it started a little slow, but I soon became intrigued with the promise of secrets to be revealed. The author did a wonderful job of maintaining suspense while moving the story along; it only lagged for me once or twice. I also liked that the author really tied up most loose ends so I didn't have to wonder what ever became of Hester or Margaret. I worried that the British accents of the narrators would annoy but I don't think story could have done without them. I would love another book like this one.
Great narrators. The person in charge of production could have added a couple seconds between the last word of each chapter and the title of the next chapter, but that's more a note to the producers, if they're following reviews of their work, than it is for potential listeners. For potential listeners, I would recommend the book very highly. It's a great book that's interesting from the beginning, has elements of mystery to draw us in and keep the story going, and has some great moments, helped by the narrators.
One of the finest books ever written. I just listened for the 2nd time and it was even more wonderful than the first. Beautifully narrated. For those who love to read and need to read, this is a must.
Absolutely gripping from the very beginning. This is a beautiful told ghost story that will keep you guessing until the end. Add to it the fantastic narration by both Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner and you'll find it impossible to not listen straight through to the end.
This was one that held my attention from the opening sentence to the final words. I was captivated by the premise and the intertwined stories. The narrators were wonderful to listen and really produced the imagery & emotion the author so masterfully spun for our imagination and enjoyment. I am really looking forward to Setterfield's next novel. One more thing, a thank you! For not feeling the need to include vulgar descriptions and sexual content. I was able to enjoy this book with my children present and for that I am grateful.
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.
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