Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The author has wonderful writing abilities and this is only one example: "I was spellbound.  There is something about words.  In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner.  Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts.  Inside you they work their magic."  I was optimistic that this was that kind of book.....unfortunately, the plot did not match the writer's ability to craft a beautiful line.
This story revolves around two characters: 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...the truth, for the first time. 

The flashbacks when Vida is revealing her life were too reminiscent of Steinbeck's East of Eden (which I hated) but, the current day and the writing style were so enjoyable that I stay longer than I should have.  I am sorry to say that I read 1/2 of this book before tossing it aside and reclaiming my life.

Rating: 1 Do NOT Recommend