The Thirteenth Tale

Version: Unabridged
Author: Diane Setterfield
Narrator: Jill Tanner , Bianca Amato
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: September 2006
# of Units: 14 CDs
Length: 16 hours
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When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.

"All children mythologize their birth." . . . So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers is a tale of gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family -- including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline -- a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.

"The Thirteenth Tale" is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter, and in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

Reviews (26)

good story

Written by Anonymous on May 18th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A little slow at first, but very good ending! Keep me guessing up to the last disk, didn't want it to end wanted to know more!


Written by Peggy Stortz on May 9th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Storytelling at its very best. Haunting and mesmerizing, this book wouldn't let me go.

The Thirteenth Tale

Written by SandyW from Hastings, PA on April 30th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a double treat for me. I loved the story and the writing was absolutely beautiful. And the women who told the story did so in such a mesmerizing way. I listen to audio books on my commute. With this story, I wanted to continue to drive so I could hear more. I would highly recommend this audiobook. In fact, I'm going to go out and buy the actual book, so I can go back and reread it.

The thirteenth tale

Written by Anonymous on March 20th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Very engaging story. Loved the narrators. Worth renting.

Masterful Story Teller

Written by Tebule from Kansas City, MO on February 7th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book. I couldn't wait to listen every chance I could get.

Really Different

Written by Seaweed on October 4th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Haunting style of writing. I found it off-putting for the first hour of the CDs, then I was drawn in to the style. Loved it eventually. I figured out the "twist" about a chapter or two before it was revealed, but it didn't detract from the ending at all. Very clever story with some really interesting characters.

The Thirteenth Tale

Written by Teri on September 24th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have been telling everyone about this story. I loved it, it was such a great story and told very well. I even order the actual book because there were so many things I wanted to go back and read over again. Recommend highly.

Thirteenth tale

Written by Anonymous on June 23rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this book. It was a little slow to get started but once the story got going it was hard to get out of the car because I wanted to keep listening. It is a good mystery book


Written by MichelleNishi from Chicago, IL on February 26th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book is very well written and the Narrators are great. I found myself driving around the block because I just couldn't wait to find out what happens next. You will not be disappointed by this smart, intriguing novel.


Written by Anonymous on February 23rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I adored this book. Having read books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as a teen, I was totally captivated by this book. I loved the gothic atmosphere, and though it started out a bit slow, the writing was so beautifully crafted that it kept me interested. The plot is very clever and Ms. Sutterfield ties up pretty much all the loose ends believably. This is the best book--very mysterious and involving. I can't wait for her next book that is coming out this year I think.

Author Details

Author Details

Setterfield, Diane

Diane Setterfield is a former academic, specializing in twentieth-century French literature. She lives in Yorkshire, England.