The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

A Novel

Book - 2007
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When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.
Publisher: New York :, Washington Square Press,, 2007.
Edition: First Washington Square Press trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780743298032
Branch Call Number: FIC SETT
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 21 cm.
Alternative Title: 13th tale


From Library Staff

Slow at the beginning, but if you can hang in, it is an excellent and surprising read. -- Sharon and Emi

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Jul 07, 2019

A wonderful novel for a lover of books and words. It only missed being a 4-star rating for me because I think it could have used a little editing in the middle. Margaret is a semi-professional biographer who is selected by Vida Winter, England's greatest living writer, to pen Vida's true life story. Vida has spent her career dodging questions about her past; indeed, instead of the truth she tells a different wild story to every interviewer. But tell the truth to Margaret she does. And a dark, twisted, gothic tale it is. A big, chewy, haunting, and beautifully written book.

AnnabelleLee27 Apr 06, 2019

A gothic-style tale of suspense with many literary references and numerous twists and turns. Themes include family secrets/scandal, passion, murder, ghosts, and the connection between twins (the best part!). An entertaining and quick read.

Mar 25, 2019

Not a bad book if you have nothing else to do. But the book is kind of like a Dan Brown Etc all wrapped into one.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Mar 19, 2019

I am very, very late to the party with this one, but I'm glad I finally read it. (Listened to it, actually -- it's excellent on audio, if that is your kind of thing!) I found this to be super engrossing, with lots of twists and turns, and a late reveal that I did not see coming (though I am terrrrrrrible at guessing twists, so take that with a grain of salt). If you enjoy sort of spooky gothic-adjacent stories about family secrets and twins and possible incest and MURDER then this is the book for you.

Feb 20, 2019

The first 70ish pages were blah, but then I read the next 300 and some pages in one night it got so good!

Sep 04, 2018

DNF, not for me. I should try to remember that I don't like gothic stories.

Aug 30, 2018

I rather enjoyed this story. I feel that the author Vida Winter (in the story) is a very good storyteller, who gives away just enough of the story to tease at your senses and eager to come back for more. She has chosen Margaret to write down her life story.

The story Vida tells, starts off with the odd siblings at Angelfield, and gradually moves onto the story of the twin girls (Adeline & Emmeline). Oh and of course the ghost of Angelfield....if you choose to believe that. Of course with the hint of the 'ghost' popping up here and there, it should be pretty obvious what is happening but nevertheless it is still a good read when the truth is revealed.

Margaret's story when compared to Vida's isn't as engrossing, but then again who can when Vida has such an interesting story.

This was definitely a book that is hard to put down as soon as Vida starts telling her story. You are eager to hear her tale and the mysteries surrounding the twins.

Jul 09, 2018

The novel starts a bit slow but stay with it, becomes and interesting and intriguing novel to the end. Well worth the read.

great strangeness that i couldn't stop reading...

Jun 26, 2017

A very well-written novel I stumbled upon at a book sale. The plot is what intrigued me to purchase it. The story is a unique one, that hold mystery with an air of ghoulish haunting. There are twists that has the reader guessing and then thrown off course with a surprise revelation. **SPOILER ALERT**

The ending is endearing in my opinion, but also corny in a fairy-tale ending fashion that uses a cat as an excuse for a romance to begin to blossom.

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Feb 09, 2018

firebird770 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

May 22, 2016

julia_sedai thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 17, 2013

Nemo28 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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May 22, 2016

Sexual Content: Incest


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Lauren Jul 27, 2008

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth itself. 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? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.


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