I am revisiting some of my previously reviewed books and seeing how my opinion has changed (or not) after some time has passed. Today’s book is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
(Speaking of The Thirteenth Tale… we are in the process of choosing our next book club book and The Thirteenth Tale is one of the options we are considering. Click here to help us choose which book we should read next and to join in our discussion.)
When I first read Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, this was my impression:
“Despite a strong thread of violence, madness and the fact that there were several very graphic descriptions, The Thirteenth Tale was an amazing book. Creepy and suspenseful, the writing was amazing and reminded me of books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights… a sort of Gothic horror story that may or may not be supernatural. In fact, the author skillfully uses Jane Eyre as part of the story. The twists at the end managed to take me by surprise but didn’t seem like they came out of nowhere which is always a risk when an author decides to do a big twist ending. While I am not usually a mystery fan and tend to avoid anything that hints at horror or the macabre, I am very glad that I picked up this book. It was well worth my time.”
But after reading and re-reading it several times, my fascination with this incredible book has only grown and it has become one of my all-time favorites. I think what I love the most about it is that The Thirteenth Tale is a book lover’s book… a love letter to literature and to the stories that shape us. I also love the way the author depicts storytelling in the book, with its power to both reveal and conceal the truth from the world and how our personal mythologies and archetypes impact the way we see ourselves and others. And on top of all of this, The Thirteenth Tale is an incredibly well-done mystery story that kept me guessing until the very end.