Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mother Talk Blog Tour: The Thirteenth Tale

I am a day behind on this review because to be perfectly honest, I was holding a pity party yesterday because of some bad scan results I got back. I apologize to Mother Talk who was counting on me to have this on time and hope they will accept me saying "I'm Sorry".

This time Mother Talk sent me the book The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I'll be honest, I read the first chapter of this book and was not the least bit interested. It seemed extremely boring and I didn't pick it up again until this past Monday. Now my feelings on the book are mixed to say the least. Knowing that I had to post something for Mother Talk, I had decided I would just force myself to read some of it and maybe skip to the end. That is so not what happened! I ended up not only reading the whole book but I seriously could not put it down until I had read it in it's entirety.

The Thirteenth Tale is about the famous (in the book) author Vida Winter who writes a letter to a little known biographer and bookworm named Margaret Lea asking her to pen her biography for her. At first Margaret is reluctant to take on the task because of things she has heard about Ms. Winter and interviews the solitary author has given in the past.

Heck, Margaret had never even read one of Ms Winter's books before being contacted but once she read "Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation", she couldn't put her books down. In the end though curiosity wins out and Margaret leaves for Vida Winter's secluded estate to begin writing the biography.

The story that Ms. Winter has to tell in the weeks that pass completely envelopes Margaret and makes her almost a part of the story herself. One of Ms. Winter's rules is "no questions" and while Margaret tries to adhere to that rule she can't help but wonder, "Where did he go?", "Wh did she do that?", or "What happened that night?". How could she not have questions with so many left unanswered? Vida Winter refuses to jump around in her story though and so Margaret must listen as each part unfolds.

The Thirteenth Tale is definately filled with suspense and secrets that will shock and surprise you. Beyond that though is a story that brings together two people who have more in common than they could have ever known.

Why did I say it left me with mixed feelings? Well, the ending surprised me a little and I'm just not sure I like how it ended. There could have been so much more to it but this is the story that came to Diane Setterfield and for her it worked itself out. Why exactly is the book called The Thirteenth Tale? Well you'll just have to read the book and find out for yourself now won't you? *wink* Until then, have fun with the book's cool website.

Tell me what you think- is it harder to keep a secret or tell it after holding onto it for awhile?


Anne said...

I had a love-hate thing going with the book the whole way through (and abandoned it, like you did, at first). I guess I finished it several months ago, and found I was thinking about it just today. How funny to have run across this post!

Yes, it's a good book if you can get settled into it. You wrote a good and honest review.

fancymomma said...

I loved this book. I listened to the CD in my car, and just adored it!

I think, though, if I was not a captive audience I would have hard a hard time gettng into it. Since I was listeneing and had to sit in may car, I could not just put it down and give up. If I was readng a hard copy, I may have.