Jason's Reviews > The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
933518
's review
Feb 27, 08

bookshelves: all-time-favorites
Read in February, 2008

first impressions:
so far i'm LOVING this book...
which is a fitting emotion for what seems to be a symbolic love letter to both books and the bookish...
this text is a sublime combination of fluid prose, wonderful imagery, and finely directed character development...the character of vida winter hasn't even been introduced yet and i know enough about her already to be hopelessly intrigued...
the passage that deals with the notion of story will always be with me; stories abhor silence and need words to survive, without them they wither and die, transforming in to the ghosts which haunt us...
absolutely brilliant...

second impressions: ***SPOILERS***
i'm about two thirds of the way through and i still very much love this book...all i said before still applies, however i must include one complaint... while the quality of the character developmentit is still overall wonderful, there are some issues that i perceive as problematic regarding the characters of adeline, isabelle, and charlie...
to begin with, adeline is referred to as somewhat of a divided personality, her aggressive outward persona and 'the girl in the mist', a figure that is only seldom perceived by only the most sensitive of individuals...her eventual transformation from the brutal, emotionally bereft, semi-autistic adeline into the eloquent, sensitive, caring young 'girl who is no longer in the mist' is a bit abrupt and somewhat unsubstantiated...i follow why it occurred, the death of the missus and finally of dig required her to take on previously unnecessary levels of responsibility...what i'm not clear on is how she managed to perform the change... the arduous and painful process of breaking through the hardened surface of her life-long mental reclusiveness does not appear on the page...
additionally, isabelle and charlie are both deeply damaged individuals, however the foundation of why they are so horrendously mentally compromised is also absent from the narrative thus far...if we are to believe charlie and isabelle to be capable of the despicable and pathetic behaviors they exhibit, i feel i must know what transpired in their lives that brought them into such a calamitous adulthood...
the re-introduction of emmeline also stuck me as slightly contrived...i'll have to see how events develop from here...
all in all, still one of the more enjoyable novels i've ever read...

final impressions:
ok...so the entire story hinges around the above transformative mystery...
lovely book...tightly crafted structure, filled with carefully molded pathos, brilliantly woven plot...
I LOVED IT!!!....

11 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Thirteenth Tale.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-1)




dateUp_arrow    newest »

Michelle a brilliantly written review!!! Thank you.


back to top