I have just finished reading “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield and I LOVED IT! This book had me hooked right from the start and I didn’t want it to end.
It is about a young woman called Margaret Lea. Margaret works with her father in his quiet little book store, Lea’s Antiquarian Booksellers near Cambridge, England. Over the years, Margaret has discovered that she enjoys reading almanacs and old diaries and piecing together history to write biographies of people who were once notable for something but have since been forgotten. Another thing, Margaret is a twin. She was born joined to her twin but her twin did not survive the separation. Her parents never talk about it but Margaret has a scar down her side to prove that it is true. She feels the loss of her twin every day.
One evening, Margaret receives a letter from England’s most popular current author, Vida Winter. Vida has a story to tell. The media have tried to get her story in the past, but she would not divulge the truth. Finally, now that her life is nearing an end, she is ready to tell her story. For real this time. And she would like Margaret to be the one to hear it and record it. Vida’s letter was inviting Margaret to come to her house in Yorkshire and stay with her until the story has been told.
After much thought and consideration, Margaret takes Vida up on her offer and goes to stay with her and starts to hear Vida’s story. They sit together in Vida’s extensive library in her huge house and Margaret hears the story. When she returns to her room she writes it all down and ponders the twists and turns of Vida’s life.
As the story evolves, things are not what they seem. Margaret starts to question her assumptions and as a reader, I realised that I had also made some assumptions.
Vida understands the bond of twins and Margaret is intrigued with this part of Vida’s story in particular. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I will stop telling you any more about the story.
I love the way this book had me thinking and excited about reading the next chapter.
If you can get your hands on this book, READ IT!!