November 2022 Book Choice

“The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield

What a lively discussion about this tale!


Everybody has a story.

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family. Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past and its mysterious connection to the writer Vida Winter. Vida’s history is a tale of ghosts, governesses and gothic strangeness.

Fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie and the wild untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline.

What has Angelfield been hiding? What is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret’s own troubled life? And can both women ever confront the ghosts that haunt them?

Our Review

Well! Here are some of the comments in our discussion, we agreed that we would remember it was Halloween and that it was a FAIRY STORY.

Disturbing story beautifully told. Bizarre and unbelievable. Feat of construction of a huge cast of characters. Well crafted and descriptive. Didn’t enjoy. Love her writing. Descriptive and drew you in. Compelling with a fascinating twist. And so the debate went on ……

This is an example of the beauty of the language for me:

“Bones?” said Miss Winter. She was paper-white and there was an ocean in her eyes, vast enough to drown all my fury.

“Oh”, she said.

Oh. What richness of vibration a single syllable can contain. Fear. Despair, Sorrow and resignation. Relief of a dark, unconsoling kind. And grief, deep and ancient”.

Our score was a resounding 8. I think that can stand as a recommendation so how about giving The Thirteenth Tale a go and let The Page Turners know what you think.

Sylvia Harvey