Book Review of “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield


Diane Setterfield is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite writers; like up there with Philippa Gregory, Cassandra Clare, Stephen King and VC Andrews, to name a few. I had never heard of her until I randomly came across her book Bellman & Black, which I loved. After reading it I decided to order her only other and first book, The Thirteenth Tale. I was not disappointed.

*No Spoilers*

The Plot

The famous fiction author, Vida Winter, has lived her life shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows where she came from, who her family is or if Vida Winter is even her real name. Vida is sick and dying so she decides to finally tell the world the truth. She summons a biographer, Margaret Lea, to record the story of her origins. Margaret has her own troubled family life and history which makes her the perfect person for the job. Even though neither woman realizes it at first, they will help each other come to terms with their pasts and finally gain some closure.

My Thoughts

This book was so good. It was one of those where I had to finish it as soon as possible because I needed to know what happened next. It is definitely a suspense and mystery story. If you’ve ever read any of VC Andrews books, most famous for Flowers in the Attic, this story is written in a very similar Gothic style. It even has similar themes throughout, such as: incest (very mild, mainly just hinted at), being failed by parents, troubled relationships with siblings, murder and deeply flawed characters.

If you’re into stories with drama and mystery I think you would love this book and Bellman & Black. I really hope that Diane Setterfield chooses to write more because I would be interested in whatever she creates. Let me know if you’ve read either of her books or if they seem interesting to you! Thank you for reading and have a great day!


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