The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield (25 October — 29 October)

One last book for the RIP Challenge before it ends! This one was on my original list, but I didn’t think it was going to make it here in time for Hallowe’en. Luckily, it did, and I quite enjoyed it, though I thought it was going to be more scary than gothic. Alas.

The Thirteenth Tale is two stories — the main story is that of Vida Winter, a prolific author à la Stephen King or Jodi Picoult, who is dying and wants to tell someone her true life story. The second is that of Margaret Lea, the woman Vida chooses to be her biographer, who is slowly coming to terms with the secret of her twin lost at birth.

The secondary plotline I don’t care for much, but Vida Winter’s tale is incredibly engaging. Born into an incredibly dysfunctional family, she learns to cope with a lot of insanity and hide a few dozen secrets in the process.

I recommend this book for Vida’s story alone; even though I figured out the twist halfway through I still didn’t know how they’d pull it off. Well told, Setterfield.

Rating: 7/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2006, RIP Challenge)

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