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Synopsis

When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.

All children mythologize their birth...So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself -- all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The Thirteenth Tale
Average rating
4.6 / 5
January 24th, 2014
I love this book. The language is beautiful. I have read it multiple times and even though I know the ending I am enthralled every time.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This is story meant for readers. It is rich in details and plot twists.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I didn't really like this book, it kept trying to get started but just fell flat for me
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This was a very interesting read. I really enjoyed it, kept me wanting more.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
EXCELLENT!!!! Kept me guessing till the end....well written. I cannot wait to read her next book, I hope it is just as good.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This was a book I didn't want to put down. I enjoyed every page of it!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Best book I've in a long time. Book club book. Would read it again!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
One of my "best reads" of the year! Setterfield creates a wonderful yarn of family secrets. I can usually guess the ending well before midpoint. This one didn't keep to the norm. Thank you Ms Setterfield!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This was a gripping read, from beginning to end. It's one of those books that you can't put down. I look forward to reading more of her work.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I loved this book. My book club read it and we were all fascinated by the gothic nature of the story. It was full of interesting twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. A joy to read.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I have read this book and could not stop reading it. If you want a book with a lot twists and turns and unexpected plot lines. This is the book for you. I have started reading it again.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This was a great read. It kept me hooked right til the end.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This novel kept me in suspense throughout. It had a intrigue and depth that kept me engaged to the last page. The characters were well developed and multi dimensional.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This was a really good read. Would recommend it to anyone wanting a well written story filled with interesting characters.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
A great Book keeps you interested from start to finish.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
It took me a little bit to get into this book but I think that is because it told an intricate story. The end was such a surprise I'm glad I toughed it out and finished the read.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Excellent read. Very intriguing. Keeps the reader enthralled until the last page is turned.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
A mesmerizing tale about self-discovery and how strong the echoes of childhood memories can affect someone's life for good or for worse.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
really enjoyed this book, didn't read it via ebook though.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Well written with a twist at the end that you didn't see coming.
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1 review

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