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The Thirteenth Tale Hardcover – 12 September 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,197 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : Atria Books (12 September 2006)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0743298020
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0743298025
  • Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.79 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,197 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,197 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 8 August 2020
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Reviewed in Australia on 6 October 2020
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Reviewed in Australia on 20 August 2016
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Reviewed in Australia on 8 December 2014
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Reviewed in Australia on 26 March 2015
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Reviewed in Australia on 4 November 2015
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Reviewed in Australia on 30 December 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

WhatCathyReadNext
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric historical mystery with a Gothic feel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 November 2018
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43 people found this helpful
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The booktrail
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic tale set in Yorkshire
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 June 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic tale set in Yorkshire
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 June 2019
There’s lots to love about this book:

Set in a gothic house
Huge gardens with mysterious paths
Rural
An elderly author lives there as recluse
A biographer is invited to come and interview her about books…
The house has secrets in its walls…

This is one gripping and very visual novel. I’ve seen the adaptation on the TV but the book is so much more immersive and gothic. I would even say the mystery, sense of foreboding and gothic overtones consumed me whilst reading and I felt chills and thrills I’ve never felt before.
At its heart is a family mystery, one that weaves and wanders its way through your heart and the pages until its flourishing and wonderful reveals. It’s a book about the love of books, the wonder of reading and stories across time so any bibliophile out there is going to drink it in.
Vida Winters, the author in the story writes a letter (a handwritten letter!)to a biographer Margaret Lea as she finally wants to tell the truth. The truth about the house, family, stories and secrets within.
Margaret is intrigued about one book the author has written called
 Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation,but this only contains twelve stories... where is the thirteenth tale? (Cue chills on the back of my neck)

I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed it until now. Maybe I felt the time was right to revisit as I’ve just read it for the Nth time. This house, these characters are where I like to go and visit from time to time when I feel I need time alone.
Especially when there are lines like this:

“Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”
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23 people found this helpful
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Rae Else
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 April 2017
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22 people found this helpful
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LHG
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 August 2018
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11 people found this helpful
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Siltone
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its very best!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2020
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