Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

If it hadn't been for a blogging friend I never would have read this book, and boy would that have been a shame.

You see, I'm one of those "classics" snobs (or at least, I used to be). For the longest time I believed that in order for a novel to be good it has to be written either by A*gatha Chri*stie or an author who lived before the twentieth century. Enter Momma Roar.

After I posted a glowing review of Ch*arlotte Bro*nte's "J*ane Ey*re," Leigh Ann (a.k.a. Momma Roar) e-mailed me and told me about Di*ane S*etterfield's book called "The Thir*teenth T*ale." She said that the book "J*ane Ey*re" is mentioned in S*etterfield's novel. I expressed an interest in reading it, and the next thing I knew Leigh Ann had mailed me her copy.

I thought the story would have possibilities as soon as I learned that the main character, Ma*rgaret L*ea, is a biographer who works in a rare-book shop owned by her family. L*ea is summoned by reclusive author V*ida W*inter to her estate to write her biography. W*inter, who is now ailing and who for years had made up various life histories for herself, tells L*ea that she finally wants to tell the truth. In the process of discovering the truth about W*inter's life, L*ea also discovers the truth about hers.

What about "J*ane Ey*re" and its mention in the book? Well, not only is it mentioned in the book many times, but S*etterfield also really captured the mood and style of the classic novel. "The Thir*teenth T*ale" is complete with ghosts, both real and imagined; dark secrets; tragedies; love; and a bittersweet ending. If you loved "J*ane Ey*re," you'll love this book.

So is this book a copycat of Br*onte's classic? I don't think so. While the similarities are there, S*etterfield's book stands on its own. I have to admit that the book moved too slowly for me in the beginning, despite the beautiful way in which S*etterfield described the scenery and movements of her characters. But once the book took off, it really took off.

I can't wait to read another book by this author.


Holly said...

I wasn't sure about reading this one, but I've seen so many good reviews for it that I think I'm going to put it on my list now!

Momma Roar said...

:-D So glad you liked it! Now, I just need to read "J.ane" so I know what you're talking about! hahaha