The Thirteenth Tale, the debut novel of Diane Setterfield, is one of the most intriguing, entertaining and troubling stories I’ve read in quite a while. It is a story of shadows, twins, strange children and even stranger parents, of ghosts, fears, and a search for the truth.
It all starts when Vida Winter, said to be one of the most famous writers in UK and the world, known to be feeding amazing yet untrue stories, always different, to the press and to biographers when asked about her life, contacts Margaret Lea, the daughter of a bookstore owner, to write her biography. Although all her books are famous, Vida Winter is also well known for publishing a book whose title refers to 13 stories but only contains 12. The stories are strange real-life interpretations of children’s fairy tales, such as Cinderella, who’s a simple farmer’s daughter raped by the prince and never searcher for the next day. And everyone is anxious to find out which is the 13th story.
Vida reveils the strange story of the Angelfield family which she’s supposedly a part of, a tragic tale of affairs between siblings, strange twin girls that spread fear on an entire village, a fire that takes down the Angelfield mansion, love stories and much more. It all builds up towards an unexpected ending, a truth revealed by Margaret after facing her own twin ghost. I whole heartedly recommend the book to you if you want to know the secrets, mysteries and pain of the missing thirteenth story.