The thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield, Finished reading on 29th December
“Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.”
This is something very different. I am reading one of this kind after along time. In fact the writing style is so unique that I am not able to figure out any other books if this kind.This book is written in the Gothic tradition. This is what we call pure reading pleasure. The story is well carved, characterization of all the characters are perfect. The narration of the Old library of protagonist is my favourite part in the book. I could feel the smell of old books and the dusty shelves. This is when the writing touch your heart.
The story is good with a unexpected twist and is presented in a layered format though the author seems to be too eager to make everything right at the end. The crazy characters and unorthodox romances make this book a bit wildly interesting. It is not a book for cursory read. You need to go through all the lengthy paragraphs without missing a single word to imbibe the essence of the story. Those who love the classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and love their narration style, will love this one. People who are looking for a two-hundred-page-fast-entertainer may skip it.
I loved the book. I can not believe it is a debut novel from the author. I am going with a four for this novel.