Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

If you want the excitement and suspense of a "thriller" without the spies, terrorists, viruses, or serial killers, this might be the book for you. It's a gothic Victorian-ish story with ghosts, twins, probably incest, bastards, foundlings, cats, skeletons, a governess, scars, a fire, a blizzard on the moors. It's very gripping and exciting, and I got really into it and had a hard time putting it down. (Unfortunately, I got interrupted really close to the end and couldn't get back to it for several days, which deflated the ending a bit for me — so make sure you plan enough time to read through to the end once it gets going.)

It feels as if a certain kind of teenage girl would really like this book. What comes to mind as a comparison, aside from Jane Eyre, is Gentlemen and Players, which caused me to get sunburned because I was so engrossed I forgot to turn over.

Addendum: I just realized it could also be compared to Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which I've previously compared to The Secret History.

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