The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

A Novel

eBook - 2006
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Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

"Readers will feel the magnetic pull of this paean to words, books and the magical power of story."-- People

"Eerie and fascinating."-- USA TODAY

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness--featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2006
ISBN: 9781416540533 electronic bk
1416540539 electronic bk
Branch Call Number: eBOOK FIC SETTERFIELD
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: 13th tale

Opinion

From Library Staff

Amateur biographer Margaret Lea receives a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter, summoning her to write Vida's life story. As Margaret pieces together Vida's story on her own, what she discovers is a chilling and transforming experience.

Amateur biographer Margaret Lea receives a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter, summoning her to write Vida's life story. As Margaret pieces together Vida's story on her own, what she discovers is a chilling and transforming experience.

Amateur biographer Margaret Lea receives a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter, summoning her to write Vida's life story. As Margaret pieces together Vida's story on her own, what she discovers is a chilling and transforming experience.

Amateur biographer Margaret Lea receives a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter, summoning her to write Vida's life story. As Margaret pieces together Vida's story on her own, what she discovers is a chilling and transforming experience.

Amateur biographer Margaret Lea receives a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter, summoning her to write Vida's life story. As Margaret pieces together Vida's story on her own, what she discovers is a chilling and transforming experience.


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AnnabelleLee27 Apr 06, 2019

A gothic-style tale of suspense with many literary references and numerous twists and turns. Themes include family secrets/scandal, passion, murder, ghosts, and the connection between twins (the best part!). An entertaining and quick read.

c
Charlea1
Mar 25, 2019

Not a bad book if you have nothing else to do. But the book is kind of like a Dan Brown Etc all wrapped into one.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Mar 19, 2019

I am very, very late to the party with this one, but I'm glad I finally read it. (Listened to it, actually -- it's excellent on audio, if that is your kind of thing!) I found this to be super engrossing, with lots of twists and turns, and a late reveal that I did not see coming (though I am terrrrrrrible at guessing twists, so take that with a grain of salt). If you enjoy sort of spooky gothic-adjacent stories about family secrets and twins and possible incest and MURDER then this is the book for you.

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 20, 2019

The first 70ish pages were blah, but then I read the next 300 and some pages in one night it got so good!

d
D067419367
Sep 04, 2018

DNF, not for me. I should try to remember that I don't like gothic stories.

d
Dream24
Aug 30, 2018

I rather enjoyed this story. I feel that the author Vida Winter (in the story) is a very good storyteller, who gives away just enough of the story to tease at your senses and eager to come back for more. She has chosen Margaret to write down her life story.

The story Vida tells, starts off with the odd siblings at Angelfield, and gradually moves onto the story of the twin girls (Adeline & Emmeline). Oh and of course the ghost of Angelfield....if you choose to believe that. Of course with the hint of the 'ghost' popping up here and there, it should be pretty obvious what is happening but nevertheless it is still a good read when the truth is revealed.

Margaret's story when compared to Vida's isn't as engrossing, but then again who can when Vida has such an interesting story.

This was definitely a book that is hard to put down as soon as Vida starts telling her story. You are eager to hear her tale and the mysteries surrounding the twins.

j
JLee237
Jul 09, 2018

The novel starts a bit slow but stay with it, becomes and interesting and intriguing novel to the end. Well worth the read.

great strangeness that i couldn't stop reading...

i
Isinele
Jun 26, 2017

A very well-written novel I stumbled upon at a book sale. The plot is what intrigued me to purchase it. The story is a unique one, that hold mystery with an air of ghoulish haunting. There are twists that has the reader guessing and then thrown off course with a surprise revelation. **SPOILER ALERT**

The ending is endearing in my opinion, but also corny in a fairy-tale ending fashion that uses a cat as an excuse for a romance to begin to blossom.

g
gobula
Mar 28, 2017

More like The Thirteenth Turd.

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firebird770
Feb 09, 2018

firebird770 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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julia_sedai
May 22, 2016

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Nemo28
Feb 17, 2013

Nemo28 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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julia_sedai
May 22, 2016

Sexual Content: Incest

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Lauren Jul 27, 2008

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth itself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.

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