The Thirteenth Tale
Vida Winter, a bestselling yet reclusive novelist, has created many outlandish life histories for herself, all of them invention. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to biographer Margaret Lea - a woman with secrets of her own - is a summons. Vida's tale is one of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family: the beautiful and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling, but as a biographer she deals in fact not fiction and she doesn't trust Vida's account. As she begins her researches, two parallel stories unfold. Join Margaret as she begins her journey to the truth - hers, as well as Vida's.
- Hardback | 416 pages
- 162 x 234 x 40mm | 762.05g
- 06 Sep 2006
- Orion Publishing Co
- Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
- London, United Kingdom
'Beautifully written and highly intelligent. Blissful escapism for literate (and literary) females who love an old-fashioned story' THE TIMES 'A real treat...Like all the best first novels, this one seems to bulge with a lifetime's hoarded inspirations. Setterfield litters the book with references to nineteenth-century gothic literature and other meta-textual winks and nudges. The effect is of a lit-crit parlour game, which only adds to the fun' TIME OUT 'Guiltily enjoyable' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Whimsical, moving and consciously nostalgic, Diane Setterfield knows the limits of enchantment, even as she tries to break them' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'Setterfield proves a mistress of the craft of storytelling and her musings about the pleasures of reading are beguiling' GUARDIAN 'Cleverly plotted, beautifully written homage to the classic romance mystery novel...It is a remarkable first novel, a book about the joy of books, a riveting multi-layered mystery that twists and turns, and weaves a quite magical spell for most of its length' THE INDEPENDENT 'A witty, entertaining and very satisfying read' THE SPECTATOR 'This bold, unusual debut is, as a Jane Austen character might have said, a vastly entertaining fiction' DAILY MAIL 'Make yourself a mug of cocoa and shut the curtains tight - a generous helping of gothic delight is about to be served' DAILY EXPRESS 'A remarkably compelling debut...This is an extraordinary, unusual and atmospheric story with a sense of timelessness about it. It is rare to be able to smell a book as well as read it, but this one is steeped in the aroma of old houses in remote places with strange faded furnishings and little natural light. It will appeal to anybody with a love of literature and a passion for the feel and smell of old books' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'Brilliantly written - recommended' EASY LIVING 'Compelling page-turner' WOMAN & HOME 'a page-turner of a Gothic mystery' SHE 'A dark mystery in the vein of Daphne du Maurier about family secrets and the potency of storytelling' THE LIST 'The fiction that I will be most enthusiastically recommending to friends is Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. Much hyped, this has lived up to expectations; it is like Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie and the Brontes all rolled into one, which has to be a good thing' BOOKSELLER 'If you don't mind drowning yourself in a captivating, beautifully written tale, go ahead and buy 'The Thirteenth Tale. You won't regret the purchase' LITPUNDIT.COM 'I can't remember when I last enjoyed a book as much as I've enjoyed this one. WWW.THEBOOKBAG.CO.UK 'An extraordinary story, full of twists and turns, spookiness and humour...As a debut novel, this is an impressive book and it is refreshing to read something that combines Gothic invention with realism so easily. For every fantastic plot twist there is a descriptive passage that catches the imagination completely. A wonderful book to settle down with on a Sunday afternoon: one that is both absorbing and fun' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'The Thirteenth Tale is the sort of novel they don't write any more, which makes it all the more welcome. Add to this Setterfield's remarkable imagination coupled with her literate style and you have the makings of a modern classic' YORKSHIRE EVE POST 'Setterfield establishes, from the very first page, one of those narrative voices which you trust implicitly, warming to its calm understated authority' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Setterfield writes evocatively and assuredly' LITERARY REVIEW 'This is an excellent emotional mystery which I found harder to put down every night!' WOMAN'S OWN 'Setterfield is a master of pacing' THE SCOTSMAN 'Diane Setterfield has a light lyric touch' FINANCIAL TIMES 'Start reading this on the bus and, I swear, you won't only miss your stop, you might even lose the whole day' COSMOPOLITAN - Great Reads of 2006 'The moorland romances of the Brontes and Daphne du Maurier are never far away from our vision of a perfect Christmas read. Draw up a chair, then, for debut novelist Diane Setterfield. It's a windswept feast of abandoned babies, incestuous siblings and feral twins' THE INDEPENDENT (Review)
About Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield is in her early forties. Having spent time in France, she now lives in Harrogate. Her background is an academic one. Her previous publications have been in the field of 19th and 20th century French literature, especially the works of Andre Gide.