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Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale

July 9, 2009

“Of course all stories have beginnings, middles and endings; it is having them in the right order that matters.”

Of course all stories have beginnings, middles and endings; it is having them in the right order that matters.

So begins the story of Vida Winter, the immensely popular writer with a mysterious past whose declining health motivates her to call on Margaret Lea, the amateur biographer, to record her biography.

Yet, this captivating modern Gothic tale resembling Jane Eyre, The Woman in White, and Rebecca is far from a biography. From the first page, you’re pulled into the emerging mystery of Vida Winter and her past.

The only drawback to this book are the disruptive musings of Margaret’s story, which falls far short. Margaret’s wild fantasies about her own personal ghost fail to draw the reader in. The upside is, this will make it easier to put the book down when real life beckons.

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