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Book Discussions > March discussion - The thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

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message 1: by Dominique (last edited Mar 07, 2016 04:11AM) (new)

Dominique The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets... and the ghosts that haunt them still


message 2: by Dominique (new)

Dominique Discussion questions

1- The title of this novel is taken from the title of Miss Winter's first book, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation, a collection of twelve stories with a mysterious thirteenth left out at the last minute before publication. How is this symbolic of the novel? What is the thirteenth tale?

2- When do you think The Thirteenth Tale takes place? The narrator gives some hints, but never tells the exact date. Which aspects of the book gave you a sense of time, and which seemed timeless? Did the question of time affect your experience with the novel?

3- Were you satisfied with the way the story ended for various characters?

4- What rating would you give this book?


message 3: by Dominique (new)

Dominique I started reading the book. Anybody else?


message 4: by Lu (new)

Lu (luisamarques) | 15 comments Me! I've already read 25% of it and I'm enjoying it :)


message 5: by Dominique (new)

Dominique Lu wrote: "Me! I've already read 25% of it and I'm enjoying it :)"

I just started, l`m at 12%. I like the flow of it, you don`t want to stop reading.


message 6: by Lu (new)

Lu (luisamarques) | 15 comments I know right? If it weren't for my classes, I would have read so much more of it already!


message 7: by Dominique (new)

Dominique Lu wrote: "I know right? If it weren't for my classes, I would have read so much more of it already!"

Same here, was reading it during my lunch hour at work and I didn`t want to stop.


message 8: by Dominique (new)

Dominique 1- The title of this novel is taken from the title of Miss Winter's first book, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation, a collection of twelve stories with a mysterious thirteenth left out at the last minute before publication. How is this symbolic of the novel? What is the thirteenth tale?

(view spoiler)

2- When do you think The Thirteenth Tale takes place? The narrator gives some hints, but never tells the exact date. Which aspects of the book gave you a sense of time, and which seemed timeless? Did the question of time affect your experience with the novel?

(view spoiler)

3- Were you satisfied with the way the story ended for various characters?

(view spoiler)

4- What rating would you give this book?
4 stars


message 9: by Lu (new)

Lu (luisamarques) | 15 comments 1- The title of this novel is taken from the title of Miss Winter's first book, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation, a collection of twelve stories with a mysterious thirteenth left out at the last minute before publication. How is this symbolic of the novel? What is the thirteenth tale?

(view spoiler)

2- When do you think The Thirteenth Tale takes place? The narrator gives some hints, but never tells the exact date. Which aspects of the book gave you a sense of time, and which seemed timeless? Did the question of time affect your experience with the novel?

(view spoiler)

3- Were you satisfied with the way the story ended for various characters?

(view spoiler)

4- What rating would you give this book?

3 stars, perhaps 3.5. The story was really nice but developed a bit slowly for me.


message 10: by Syd (new)

Syd (deertales) (deertales) I haven't started this yet but I plan on binge reading this weekend..... boyfriend will be out of town so no interruptions! :)


message 11: by Dominique (new)

Dominique Syd wrote: "I haven't started this yet but I plan on binge reading this weekend..... boyfriend will be out of town so no interruptions! :)"

Will be a good time to read it!


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