The Thirteenth Tale or the return of the Gothic

An isolated mansion, a heroine in danger, the unravelling of a secret, the possibility of love; these are all elements of a classic gothic tale. In her debut novel, Diane Setterfield takes all these elements and makes them new again. The story begins when aging iconic novelist Vida Winters invites a shy and nearly unknown biographer, named Margaret Lea to her Yorkshire manse to finally tell the hidden truths of her life. Slowly due to ill health and reluctance, Vida tells the story of the estate of Angelfield and the poisonous secrets of her past, drawing Margaret ever deeper into the mysteries of murder, incest and insanity that have shaped Vida and threaten to unhinge Margaret as welltale1.

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