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Scan 46What’s it all about?

Vida Winter, famous author, is dying and summons the relatively unknown Margaret Lea to write her biography. It’s clear that there is a story she wants to get off her chest before she passes away. Could this be the basis of the mysterious unwritten thirteenth tale?

Why did I want to read it?

A dramatisation of the novel starring Olivia Colman and Vanessa Redgrave will be on the BBC over the Christmas holidays (probably already broadcast by the time this is published now I come to think of it) and I wanted to read the book before I watched it. Plus I’ve had the book since it came out and am embarrassed that I haven’t read it before now, making me the last person in the universe to do so. Though that may be a slight exaggeration.

What did I think of it?

The Thirteenth Tale really lived up to what others have said about it and I really enjoyed reading it. It has everything you would expect from a good Gothic; dying person haunted by a secret, main character with issues of her own, potentially inappropriate family relationships, abandoned babies, twins, devoted servants, death and destruction, and will we get to the truth before the end? Hint – of course we will.


Very satisfying indeed. Looking forward to see how they can possibly turn what is a complicated structure with flashbacks and revelations and heaps of atmosphere into a coherent film. I shall report back! but if it turns out that you are the only other person besides me who hadn’t read this then do please have a go; very well written, believable characters, suitable ending (IMHO anyway).

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

The Sunday



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December 2013