I absolutely loved this book. It was one of those novels that you can't put down, but you don't want to get to the end if it, it's so wonderful.
Magaret Lea lives with her father, who owns a bookshop. One day, she's called to write the biography of Vida Winter, a bestselling, but reclusive author. Many biographers and journalists have tried to get her to tell them her story, but she always tells them tall tales. One young man even asks her to tell him "the truth." But Vida Winter, nearing the end of her life, is ready to tell that truth.
Her story revolves around a set of twins, and a variety of secrets hidden in the past. It turns out that there's a reason why Miss Winter called upon Margaret specifically to tell her story to, and like all the other secrets in the book, this secret is revealed gradually. Although some things are easy to figure out, the ending was a complete surprise for me. The Thirteenth Tale is wonderfully written, with an eye for description. Its clear that Setterfeld knows her nineteenth century authors well; references to Jane Eyre and The Woman in White abound throughout. It makes me want to re-read those books! The Thirteenth Tale was among the top ten books I read in 2007.
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