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The Thirteenth Tale (Signed First Edition)

Diane Setterfield

229,764 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0743298020 / ISBN 13: 9780743298025
Published by Atria (New York), 2006
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Dan Pope Books
West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.

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About this Item

First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New! Very fine/very fine in all respects, a pristine unread copy, never opened except for signing. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. She has signed her name only, without inscription. Comes with protective mylar dust jacket cover. Shipped in well padded box. You cannot find a better copy. Bookseller Inventory # bksm1006-4

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Thirteenth Tale (Signed First Edition)

Publisher: Atria (New York)

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.

There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."

She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."

"I am a biographer, I work with facts."

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told. --Valerie Ryan

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