The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
After years of spinning stories about her past–each different, all untrue– the reclusive author called Vida Winter is finally ready to share her real origins. She hires Margret, an amateur biographer and quiet bookshop assistant, to document her tale. So begins the story of two women seeking to reconcile with their tragic pasts.
I recommend this book to lovers of modern gothic fiction, and anyone who is looking for an engaging, suspenseful read. That said, I am not usually a fan of dark dramas. Yet the novel hooked me from page one. It’s beautifully written, if a little lengthy, and has an irresistibly noir feel. At times, it strongly reminded me of Edgar Alan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. I fell in love with Setterfield’s artful style in much the same way Margret falls for that of Vida Winter’s–first surprised, and the enchanted.