The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield

  • Release Date: 2006-09-12
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 541 Ratings


Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

“Readers will feel the magnetic pull of this paean to words, books and the magical power of story.”—People

“Eerie and fascinating.”—USA TODAY

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness—featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.


  • Read in Two Days!

    By Greenshadow73
    My mom recommended this book to me so I d/l'ed it and it had me from the first chapter. It starts out as a lonely, sad tale that keeps you reading (because it can only get better, right?) but as you go, it turns into a darker story within the story that shifts between main characters. The author is so descriptive that if it ever becomes a movie, I'm not sure I'd agree with it because I have in my head what everything is supposed to look like! An excellent and captivating read!
  • Outstanding

    By Comedy!!!
    I'm an avid reader, but this is the first book in years that has so entranced me, the rest of the world has fallen away for it. One of my most favorites. Everything else had to wait while I read this. Highly recommended.
  • The Thirteenth Tale

    By Debannree
    Absolutely wonderful. I could not put it down.
  • Elegant, Haunting, A must read

    By Jingle Tolentino
    I have nothing but praise for the book. As a debut, it's very successful and I'm anticipating future works from the author.
  • In my top 5 favorite books

    By Sarahbeachbird
    A good friend recommended this book to me. I rarely read something that I absolutely can not out down, this was one of those books. I love how it was written the characters and the ending. Thank you Diane!!!
  • Gripping and well written

    By Pinadicted
    I loved every minute of it, every page, every story. What a way to entrap the reader and kindly unlock us in the last sentence. One of the best books I've read so far!
  • The thirteenth tale

    By Livylavidalocca
    You want to keep moving along with this book as they are twists and turns. Well written, dark, and interesting if you like an intriguing English mystery. I was sometimes confused as to who was telling the story but you get it within a couple paragraphs. Give it a go...not bad!
  • 13th Tale

    By Too good to put down!
  • The thirteenth tale

    By Marilyn24272
    An incredible read.. I enjoy a well-written story that is full of intrigue and opportunity. You will find yourself drawn into this tale and unable to put it down.
  • Mesmerizing

    By Ctab5
    The book pulls a reader in with enough twists to not be predictable. The characters come alive with the authors descriptive prose.