This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

What a great book to start the new year off in reading. Of course, I started reading it last year, after The Heroin Diaries. But this one was a long book -- 406 pages typed in a small font. I was worried that at some point, I would get bored or lose interest, as I had with Heat, but this was not the case.

I initially heard about the book earlier last year. I even got the audio book from the library, but never listened to it. I was under the impression that this was something about vampires, or something paranormal.

Although there are some ghostly allusions, for me personally, this book was not about that at all.

The premise of The Thirteenth Tale is this: a bookworm that lives in the bookshop where she works alongside her father. She is very much a connoisseur of fine literature. She has also written biographies and it is this work that allows her to enter the home of the most sought-out author, Vida Winter.

Vida Winter has been a best-selling author with a mysterious tale missing from one of her most prized writings, whence the title of the book comes from.

She is reclusive and has never revealed the truth about her past. Now, Margaret the bookworm, is about to enter the world of the truth from Vida Winter.

And the truth is the story of Vida Winter's life, who she really is, and how she came to be. We also learn a good deal about Margaret the bookworm and so comes a fascinating story that is worth every 406 pages.

Diane Setterfield is prosaic and I felt like I was reading classic literature. I felt REFINED. But nevertheless (can you tell that I am writing refined words in this post) it was just a joy to read. A great story with great characters who won't leave me for a long time.

I even cried when it was done.

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