Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of books I've read recently but never got the chance to post due to bad and/or no internet connection. No, I did not read them all on the same day!

I’m not sure how to go about reviewing this book. First, let me tell you that I read it because I have seen several rave reviews. Second, I will add that I would like to give this book a rave review. But, thirdly, I am a little leery of just singing its praises because, well, it’s complicated.


I love love LOVED the way this book was written. It is just a beautiful love song, an ode to books and stories and reading. The language and description the author (Diane Setterfield) uses are exquisite. There were many passages that just made my heart happy. If you are a book lover, you HAVE TO read this book, simply for the astronomical aesthetic value. The way the author effortlessly weaves together the disparate pieces of her different characters’ stories is also brilliant and simply MUST reflect her love of reading as it does my own.

But. My only reservation in recommending this book is that the actual details of the story are…well…sad and scary and such. It is no doubt an EXCELLENT read. I do HIGHLY recommend it. I just wanted you to know that you’re in for some incest and violence and death and such. It is wonderfully wrought but it is still ultimately a disturbing story as well. But it is so worth it.

So consider yourself warned and RUN out to get this book right now! ;)

Oh, and for those of you who are interested in what this book is actually about (besides the wonder of storytelling), here is a quick synopsis: The main character is a woman who has grown up surrounded by the books in her father's bookstore, who has a great love for books. She is asked to write a very special biography—for an author who is famous for never letting anyone know the true story of her life. Along the way, both characters’ secrets are revealed, and you become immersed in the stories of the other characters you meet along the way as well.

Read it!

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