British author Diane Setterfield's debut
novel, The Thirteenth Tale, is a gothic suspense
novel published in 2006. Margaret, the main character of the novel, is a young, unworldly
, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop and she loves reading stories and biographies
Another character, Vida Winter, is England's most famous reclusive
writer, whose life story is coming to an end. Before she goes she wants her amazing life story to be recorded for the later generations. Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story.
As Winter unfolds
her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate
that was her childhood home.
Margaret carefully records Miss Winter's account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed
in the strange and troubling story. In the end, both women have to face their pasts and the weight of family secrets, as well as the "ghosts" that haunt
It seems that The Thirteenth Tale carries the readers along a turbulent
river, with unexpected eddies
and waves you can't escape. It might give you nightmares in the end, but they'll be the best--and most original--nightmares you've ever had.