When I couldn't go more than a few pages without falling asleep...that should have been my first clue that The Thirteenth Tale simply wasn't for me. UWhen I couldn't go more than a few pages without falling asleep...that should have been my first clue that The Thirteenth Tale simply wasn't for me. Unfortunately, I continued on, and suffered through this book for nearly a week before reaching the ridiculous conclusion and wanting to throw the whole thing out the window!
There are so many things I hated about this book I don’t even know where to being. Diane Setterfield is clearly obsessed with nineteenth century novels and attempts to pay homage to them here. The heroine, Margaret Lea, was completely unbearable ~ had the story been entirely from her point of view, I would have chucked this book early on. But it wasn’t, so I read on enticed by the Big Mystery and supposed brilliant twists revealed at the end… only to discover that there really wasn’t a mystery! That is, Vida Winter, the famous novelist who is telling her life story to our “heroine”, knows all of the answers and secrets in the novel, but rather than spill the beans, she allows Margaret (and the unfortunate reader) to discover the secrets on their own. Only then did she confirm and elaborate on the story. Regarding the twist? Ugh! Not so fantastic. Or maybe it was? But by the point I got to it, I was so fed up, so frustrated, so pissed off that I wasted an unheard of entire week reading just one book that I just didn’t give a fuck about the story anymore.
I could spend hours writing a negative review, but it all boils down to the fact that this is not the sort of story, writing, or characters I enjoy. Normally, my one star reviews are reserved for the worst of the worst ~ books so terrible I couldn’t finish, or so appalling that a crack addicted monkey who has suffered a traumatic brain injury could have written it better (no offense to monkeys with chemical dependencies or brain injuries!) In this instance, the one star is entirely due to personal preference. Don’t get me wrong ~ The Thirteenth Tale was awful, I didn’t enjoy a bit of it and I won’t recommend it… so I feel justified giving it only one star. But at the same time, for once I feel compelled to say this novel might not be horrible for everybody…. Just me ;) ...more