Taina's Reviews > The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorite, mystery, historical

This book is so good for so many reasons!

It has a story within a story, which is so very hard to do and keep the reader interested. You have to devote just as much time to one outer story as you do to the inner or one becomes overshadowed.

I've just recently tried my hand at this and I had to give up because I was becoming enamored with my secondary plot. Kudos to Ms. Setterfield for that.
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Quotes Taina Liked

Diane Setterfield
“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“All children mythologise their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth: it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“Of course I loved books more than people.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“Politeness. Now there's a poor man's virtue if ever there was one. What's so admirable about inoffensiveness, I should like to know. After all, it's easily achieved. One needs no particular talent to be polite. On the contrary, being nice is what's left when you've failed at everything else. People with ambition don't give a damn what other people think about them.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“Every so often I take out a volume and read a page or two. After all, reading is looking after in a manner of speaking. Though they're not old enough to be valuable for their age alone, nor important enough to be sought after by collectors, my charges are dear to me, even if, as often as not, they are as dull on the inside as on the outside. No matter how banal the contents, there is always something that touches me. For someone now dead once thought these words significant enough to write them down.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“As for you, you are alive. But it's not the same as living.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“I read old novels. The reason is simple: I prefer proper endings. Marriages and deaths, noble sacrifices and miraculous restorations, tragic separations and unhoped-for reunions, great falls and dreams fulfilled; these, in my view, constitute an ending worth the wait. They should come after adventures, perils, dangers and dilemmas, and wind everything up nice and neatly. Endings like this are to be found more commonly in old novels than new ones, so I read old novels.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield
“Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother, but the rest of the time there was none. This story is about one of those other times.”
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


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