2007: 179. The Thirteenth Tale

“It was November. Although it was not yet late, the sky was dark when I turned into Laundress Passage.”

The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

This is a ripping good yarn, exactly the kind of book that I most enjoy reading (i.e. a gothic tale with literary overtones) and well written to boot.  It is the story of Margaret Lea, a reclusive bookseller with a penchant for writing obscure biographies.  She is called upon by Vida Winter, the famous novelist who heretofore has been mum about her past (think Salinger, but instead of being a recluse, she just makes up tall tales that can’t be fact checked), to write her biography.  As Margaret learns about Vida’s strange history, she comes to terms with her own sad losses.  All this is told while we slowly unfold the mystery of Vida’s strange past.

Loved it.  I was reading this book while I was killing four hours in the Baton Rouge airport, waiting for a flight home, and it absolutely swept me away and made the time fly (a tall order, if you’ve been to the Baton Rouge airport).  I would recommend it to anyone, and I can’t wait for Ms. Setterfield’s next novel (I believe this was her first, which wows me even more).

Recommended for:  People who like well written literary mysteries with a gothic twist (i.e. people with good taste in books - who doesn’t like books like that?)


Date/Place Completed:  11/16/07; Baton Rouge

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017