The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield


So, I have no idea what prompted me to read this book. I guess technically, I listened to this book, but you know what I mean. I think I ran across it when I was looking for something to listen to at the library, and I know I’ve seen it as I perused the listing of the most checked-out books in our local paper, but I’m not sure at what point it actually made it onto my holds list at the library. That being said, I’m so glad that The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel found its way to my ears.

This is a book unlike any I’ve ever read. Its basic premise is the intertwining of two life stories as one elderly author spins the true tale of her life for a young author. This elderly author has told many versions of her life story through the years, none of them true. However, this time she invites Margaret to her home to hear her story and then write the record of that story. While this seems a simple premise, this book is anything but simple. The beauty of this well spun story is extraordinary, and the characters Setterfield creates are brilliant, each as ironically unique as the next.

I must say that I am a person who loves to predict what is coming in any book or movie. Yes, I have to admit that I sometimes (read: often) read the last page before I’m halfway through the book. I know: shameful…. However, this book never fit my predictions; I continued to be surprised to the very last CD track. In fact, Setterfield leaves just enough unanswered questions to keep you wanting more without wanting to throw the book (or the CD) across the room.

Recommendation: MUST, MUST, MUST read!

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