Reclusive author, Vida Winter has written a collection of stories which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating outlandish life histories for herself. All of them have brought her fame and fortune, but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield takes us along as Winter at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, who also has a secret about her birth hidden by those who loved her the most. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized, but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have been haunting them.
Filled with gothic strangeness, this love letter to reading includes feral twins, a governess, a ghost, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. The Thirteenth Tale is a return to the rich vein of storytelling that parents loved and that we loved as children.