The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The blurb…

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret’s own, troubled life?

As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life…

My Thoughts…

This book is the kind of book I love. A lot o my favourite books are books set in different timeframes, and this has become one of my favourites. It did remind me of Kate Morton’s ‘The Forgotten Garden’ so if you liked that you will like this.

It was like a fairy-tale in places, and it had all of the things I look for – suspense, interesting characters, some amazing writing and a story that you remember after putting down the book. It showed human nature at it’s best and worst. I just loved it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

The best bits…

Some of the phrases used in this book really stuck with me. For example:

“People disappear when they die. Their voice their laughter, the warmth of their breath….Yet for some there is a exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist.”

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk.”

Beautiful phrases, metaphors which I think describes the joy I get from reading.

I loved the story. Everything was so well described, from the old decaying mansion to the children and the families. The story was built up gradually.  It is hard to explain without giving anything away but the ending is a surprising one, and one which had me checking back through the book to make sure I had it all right.

The bad bits

For me, there were none. I enjoyed the whole story from beginning to end, and when I closed the book I felt that I had read something really good.

5 stars.

I was not asked to review this book, or compensated in any way. I have reviewed it because I wanted to 🙂


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