Margaret Lea is very passionate about reading and she prefers the company of books, being quite a recluse. Yet, she has kept herself away from the very popular books of Vida Winter. When she receives Vida Winter's letter asking Margaret to write her true biography, she is very hesitant, but after finally reading one of her books and liking it, she goes to meet the famous writer. When the true story of Vida Winter's life begins to unfold, Margaret is unable to turn back, also because she has her own ghosts to confront.
I began reading "The Thirteenth Tale" while vacationing in Greece and the first part of the story was so captivating that I stood up late at night on the balcony, fighting the mosquitos and reading in the poor light. I finished the book after returning to Bucharest, which was better, because it didn't ruin my vacation. :)
The premise of "The Thirteenth Tale" was good, it started well, and I thought that I'll be reading a captivating story till the end. Indeed, the first part was great, the mystery that surrounded Vida Winter's life was engulfing but, after some point, the story became loose and uninteresting. If the book were shorter, it would have made a really great story.
I bacame rather bored by Margaret's endless accounts of her own "ghost". Also, the insertion of a nanny'diary seemed just an attempt to add extra pages, which are redundant, as they mostly recount the story we already know. I had to skip a lot of pages towards the end and I bacame so bored that not even the twist of Vida Winter's story didn't arouse my attention anymore.
I'm sure that, if I were younger, I would have liked this book much more. It's so true that there is a time and place for every story...
"I've nothing against people who love truth. Apart from the fact that they make dull companions.[...] What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story?"
"For I have never believed that genius needs to be locked away out of sight to thrive."