What I Read This Week – The Thirteenth Tale

I was told this was a book lovers book and indeed it was. The heroine is a biographer who spends most of her time in her family’s antiquarian bookshop. One day, she’s approached by a prolific but reclusive novelist looking for someone to tell her life story. She reluctantly accepts and meets the famous writer, who is elderly and terminally ill. The biographer becomes immersed in her story, dark and fraught with tragedy, as they race against the author’s mortality to sort though the details of her complicated past.

The twisted and incredulous story line reminded me of V.C. Andrews, and that really appealed to my inner 15 year old (I can’t even tell you how many times I read Flowers in the Attic as a teenager). Then, the references to 19th century gothic literature made the romantic in me squeal. It had everything: the mist, the moors, madness, melodrama, mystery, family secrets, and ghosts. At first I wanted to dismiss it as trite, but it was just too good. It was such great fun to read.

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