This was a fabulous read and I devoured it, one of those books that once you pick up it is difficult to put down, which meant a late night and two afternoons reading in the shade, what a hardship that was. This a first novel from Diane Setterfield, I just hope she plans to write more as she certainly knows how to write a really good story. It has all the elements of a murder mystery with suspense plus twists and turns that had me intrigued right to the end. My suspicions and ideas were not always right either which always adds to the impact of a novel for me.
The story is centred around the two female protagonists Margaret Lea, the narrator of the story and Vida Winter. Margaret Lea is a true booklover having spent all her life surrounded by books, now helping her father to run the family business an antiquarian bookshop. Margaret has a fascination with biographies and has had some short biographical studies published. It is because of this that Vida Winter a well known authoress writes to her. Vida now an elderly lady is not well and she has decided that she wants to tell the 'true' story of her life before she dies and she thinks that Margaret is the perfect choice for this task.
Margaret takes the job and goes to stay with Vida Winter to carry out her commission. Margaret becomes so preoccupied with the story that she was hearing and writing that her own life fades into the background. As I found did mine the reader's as I became immersed in the gripping tale of Anglefield (the family home), the characters and the world of twins as we discover more about the lives of these two women. You will eventually learn the secrets that have Margaret spellbound and make the story of Angelfield and its family tragedies such an entertaining read.
image from Google
I found this interview on YouTube which explains how long it took Diane Setterfield to write The Thirteenth Tale. It is very interesting and if you have some free time worth listening to, though be warned it is fourteen minutes long.
Diane Setterfield was born I discovered from Wikipedia on august 22nd 1964, so very recently celebrating her 46th Birthday. What I was particularly pleased to learn though was that she is working on a second novel.
More information on Diane Setterfield can be found by following these links.