Diane SETTERFIELD ... The Thirteenth Tale (2006)
DIANE SETTERFIELD’s The Thirteenth Tale (Orion, Atria, 2006) is one of the biggest fiction débuts of 2006. This big, sprawling novel is about an ailing, reclusive famous novelist who decides to recount the events of her life to the young woman whom she has chosen to be her official biographer; there are family secrets aplenty and the magic of books and storytelling. We can only be free if we confront our inner demons and exorcise the ghosts that haunt us. I have read a couple of chapters of the advance reading copy and I am already hooked. With this novel, Setterfield delivers the kind of yarn that keeps you turning the pages at an unflagging pace, the kind you can spend the weekend holed up with and put down feeling as though you have woken up from a deep and wonderful spell. If you love books and the reading life, you will find this novel a compelling emotional mystery. A good book to lose yourself in. Look out for it in September 2006.