The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria, 2006
Flat Signed! Hardcover first edition / first printing. Fine book in fine jacket, not price clipped, Signed on the title page and is author's signature only. Minimum scuffing and edge wear. No writing or marks Comes with Certificate of Authenticity for author's signature.
Price in US $ 42.50
Summary: Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, "The Thirteenth Tale". Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly. There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins: "You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone." She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."
"I am a biographer, I work with facts." The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and "The Thirteenth Tale" is finally and convincingly told. "--Valerie Ryan"