Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This book was recommended to me from someone on Goodreads.  I'd heard of it, and noticed tons of people reading it, and posting 3+ stars.  I have been in the new adult genre phase lately, and in order for me not to get worn out on it, I decided to switch it up, and read this.

This book isn't for someone who is looking to have a quick read, it's not for the person expecting to be pulled in and spend a few hours idle and without a care.  This book reads a lot like the classics in literature.  Old style big words, intelligent writer.   While I am well read, and I am a well rounded reader, I do admit that I had to stop several times to look a word up in the dictionary (how many normal average every day Janes know what a perambulator is, really now?).

The tale itself was brilliantly written to weave the reader right in, it sucks you in so deeply that you don't realize you've been reading for a while, and much like the narrator in the book, you still have no clue how it will end.  It's victorian style gothic mystery with a hint of ghost story, left me wondering what manner of craziness I was getting myself into.  The the ending.  I can't say anything, spoilers and such, but the ending.  yeah..I wasn't expecting that, but I should have been.  It's not too often that I find a book where the ending, the "a-hah!" moment wasn't revealed to me all along.

On the flipside, one thing that I didn't like about this book, is the point of view change.  There was several times in the book when the dying author was telling the tale, that slipped from "we" to "I"  which is also the point of view that the main character, the narrating biographer tells the story.  so going from the past, to the present, sometimes tripped me up and made me have to reread some of it because of confusion.

I'll end this with a quote, it explains how I feel right now, and fabulously I have taken this from the book I just reviewed.

 "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"

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