Saw this format on another blog and I'm going to try it to get me back into commenting on books.
Title: The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Author's Website: www.thethirteenthtale.com
Year published: September 2006
Is this book part of a series? If so, which one? What book is this in the series? It's a stand alone novel
My grade: 10/10
Why did you get this book? I don't remember exactly, but I think I saw good things about it on the net. I'm always a bit cautious of well hyped books, but this one sounded rather good.
Do you like the cover? Yes, I do. It works really well for me - but then, it is books, isn't it?
Blurb: 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.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes, I did. A lot. This is one of those books that reaches out, grabs you by the throat and won't let go. I started it last night and read a good hour or more later than I intended. I then finished it this morning, mainly through turning on the TV and letting my son watch kids' shows so that I could keep reading. It was one where you aren't quite present in the real world while you're reading it and need to keep going until it is finished to figure out what's going on and get back possession of your own brain.
Anything else? In the hands of a less skilled author, this could have been no more than an overly melodramatic story. Setterfield makes is so very, very much more. Even if you're not sure this would be your kind of book, give it a try. Either it will grab you or it won't. It certainly grabbed me. My only other comment would be that I think the book's website is one of those flashy ones with little or no useful content. Save your time for reading the book instead.