All Children Mythologyze Their Birth

  • Friday 27.10
  • Literature

''The Thirteenth Tale'' (2006) by Diane Setterfield is a gothic suspense novel, the author's first published book.

''The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield is a rich story about secrets, ghosts, winter, books, and family. This bestseller is a book lover's book, with much of the action taking place in libraries and book stores, and the line between fact and fiction constantly blurred. It is hard to believe this is Setterfield's debut novel, for she makes the words come to life skillfully.


  • Margaret Lea works in her father's bookstore and is haunted by a loss in her past.
  • One night Margaret is summoned to the home of the most famous author in England to record her autobiography.
  • Vida Winter, the author, tells a layered tale, with stories within stories, keeping Margaret (and readers) curious.



  • The writing is poetic.
  • The characters are unique.
  • The story is interesting, imaginative, and exciting.



  • You will want to drink lots of cocoa while reading.


"The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield is reminiscent of classic British novels, like "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre." It has tragedy, romance, moors, and dark, stormy nights. In a way, "The Thirteenth Tale" is a homage to these and all other great works of literature.

The power of books and stories is foremost in the novel, and as the main character gets lost in one story, you'll find yourself lost with her in the story within a story.

While place is utterly important to the book, time is not. Don't try too hard to figure out when the novel is supposed to take place. It could just as easily have been now as a hundred years ago.

Here's what you can expect: A good story written by a very good writer about a good story told by a very good writer.