The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

3.97 (302,413 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.97 (302,413 ratings by Goodreads)

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Now a major BBC film, directed by Oscar-winner Christopher Hampton (Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman.

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family - fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart...

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past - and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret's own, troubled life?

As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 137 x 201 x 29mm | 340g
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9780752881676
  • 10,196

Review Text

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 INDEPENDENT
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Review quote

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 * INDEPENDENT * 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 * Whimsical, moving and consciously nostalgic, Diane Setterfield knows the limits of enchantment, even as she tries to break them * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * This bold, unusual debut is, as a Jane Austen character might have said, a vastly entertaining fiction * DAILY MAIL * Setterfield proves a mistress of the craft of storytelling and her musings about the pleasures of reading are beguiling * GUARDIAN * Guiltily enjoyable * MAIL ON SUNDAY * A witty, entertaining and very satisfying read * SPECTATOR * 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 * A dark mystery in the vein of Daphne du Maurier about family secrets and the potency of storytelling * THE LIST * Compelling page-turner * WOMAN & HOME * A page-turner of a Gothic mystery * SHE * Setterfield establishes, from the very first page, one of those narrative voices which you trust implicitly, warming to its calm understated authority * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * 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 EVENING POST * This is an excellent emotional mystery which I found harder to put down every night! * WOMAN'S OWN * Setterfield writes evocatively and assuredly * LITERARY REVIEW * Setterfield is a master of pacing * THE SCOTSMAN * 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 * INDEPENDENT * Simply brilliant - I haven't enjoyed a first novel so much for absolutely ages -- Kate Mosse Start reading this on the bus and, I swear, you won't only miss your stop, you might even lose the whole day * COSMOPOLITAN * Vastly entertaining * DAILY MAIL * A fireside mystery with all the grisly trimmings -- Catherine Shoard * Evening Standard * This surprise bestseller is an enjoyably windswept story of incest, unnatural love and northern nastiness -- Emma Hagestadt * INDEPENDENT * highly accomplished...intriguing twists galore -- Katie Owen * Daily Telegraph * a captivating read * FIRST * A firesdie mystery with all the grisly trimmings * LONDON LITE * An involving and engrossing tale full of twists and turns...hard to put down! * My Weekly * riveting from start to finish * THE LADY * The Thirteenth Tale has all the ingredients of a gripping thriller with twists, turns and false leads to keep you guessing...a beautifully written and absorbing mystery * WOMAN & HOME *
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About Diane Setterfield

Born in Berkshire, Diane Setterfield was educated at Theale Green Comprehensive School and Bristol University. Her degree in French literature led her to teach in universities in England and France, where she lived for several years. Diane's previous publications have been in the field of 19th and 20th century French literature, specialising in the writings of Andre Gide. After returning to the UK, Diane ran a business teaching French to those intending to live in France. She lives in London.
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Rating details

302,413 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 35% (104,804)
4 37% (113,015)
3 21% (62,289)
2 5% (16,238)
1 2% (6,067)

Our customer reviews

I loved this story, once it got going I could not put it down. I was late for work twice because I was so entranced by the story I lost track of the time. It is a story of sisters and secrets and eccentric English families It is a little slow to get started I didn't really enjoy the Mopey character of Margret Lea very much but that didn't mater because the story of Angelfield House blows every thing else out of the water! I have read it twice and I'm gearing up for a third. It is greatshow more
by sarah
This is one of the most riveting books I've read in a long time. A young woman growing up in a bookstore is asked to write a autobiography of a famous author and the story spirals from there as she listens to the tale spun by the famous writer and does her own research to dig out some horrifying facts. This is the kind of book where you just have to keep reading on to the next more
by figen
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