The 13th Tale
By Diane Setterfield
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sweet T Book Club Selection for August 2016 (originally July 2016)
The mysterious story of world-renowned, reclusive author Vida Winter, who has grown ill and needs to tell someone the story of her life. At least the version she wants told.
She chooses Margaret Lea, the daughter of a rare bookseller, to write it. But Margaret has never read any of Vida Winter’s books and she has only written a quaint biography of a little-known author. Why has this woman chosen her when she can have anyone write her story.
As Ms. Winter tells the strange story of her family and growing up on the estate, Angelfield, I found myself drawn in along with Margaret. These people were so strange – the beautiful Isabella, her doting father and her cruel brother, the red-headed twins who were left to their own devices to roam and live as they pleased, a ghost, a governess, strange experiments, and a fire.
Vida Winter’s story makes Margaret confront her own troubled past.
I love this photoshoot by palewinterrose inspired by the story.
And this one from Wickedmistress777.
I feel like this book may have been a little cursed. Originally we were supposed to read this in July, but almost everyone had a conflict on our original date so I postponed it for a week, then the day before our gathering, I fell in a cycling accident and broke my wrist. I’ll spare you the beautiful X-rays and gory details. But it was a doozy!
We finally met to discuss it in August. It was a good book. The writing is eloquent and elegant and so gothic and creepy and beautiful.
Here is a quote …
“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”
This was the first time we got a Book Club to Go kit from the library. It’s a ginormous canvas bag with10 paperback copies of the book and a discussion guide. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ruthie Henshall and Lynn Redgrave.
One of our funny ladies likes to read and float in the pool. Unfortunately, her book didn’t survive very well, at least not to the library’s standard! lol! Our book club now owns this lovely book and we’re getting some mileage out of it! One member who moved to California took it with her to read by the pool there!
There is also a BBC movie out starring Vanessa Redgrave, Olivia Colman, and Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones. But it doesn’t seem to be available in the US. Boo!!
My favorite book club blog, Delicious Reads had a lot of fun with this book. Read about their quotes quiz and cool bibliotherapy prescriptions!