The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie. –Vida Winter

The Thirteenth Tale is a great story. This is not the same as great literature. It’s an homage to the love of reading, specifically gothic novels of the 1800s including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Woman in White, all of which get multiple shout outs in the text. I found The Thirteenth Tale hard to put down, and a joy to re-read. It has a significant reveal that makes re-reading a particular pleasure, since I knew from the get go of this read what the secret was, and could note the hints of it as I read.

The book has heavily influenced the next books I hope to read. Check out my TBR shelf in my library at to see where it’s leading me.

2 Responses to “The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield”

  1. BookGal Says:

    I’ve got this one on my TBR list. I’m really looking forward to it.

  2. Trash Says:

    See, I wish I had talked to you about it before I read it. I was disappointed the first time I read it, because I wanted it to be great literature (don’t ask why, I just don’t know). When I re-read it, knowing it was a fun read but not a brilliant write, I liked it quite a bit more.