Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.
As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.
Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets… and the ghosts that haunt them still.
I love reading books from all kinds of genres, so if you like something mysterious, thrilling and a little spooky, The Thirteenth Tale this is a great book for you. The story is a page turner and highly addictive with serious surprises, and the writing is just fantastic…Bronte-ish, tipping its hat to the great gothic novels of the mid 1800s.
That being said, it starts out slowly (please promise you will get to page 100!) with some rather unsavory and creepy happenings that made me almost abandon the book, but I am so glad I didn’t. If you are a very sensitive reader or mysteries make you jumpy, I cannot recommend this one. Otherwise you are in for a great surprise!
Goodreads.com summary: Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.