The Thirteenth Tale

  • by Diane Setterfield
  • Narrated by Ruthie Henshall, Lynn Redgrave
  • 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain. Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers is a tale of gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.
The Thirteenth Tale is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter, and in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

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What the Critics Say



Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Literary Fiction
"Setterfield...offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a virtual page turner

Prepare to ignore your family, your job, and hopefully all your cares, as you listen to Lynn Redgrave narrate this novel. Her voice is versatile and entrancing as she tells a story that makes you drop everything and listen. This isn't just a book to take to the beach or read while you wait. This is literature that can't be missed! Thank you, Diane Setterfield for writing it.
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- Anne

Gorgeous prose with suspence

Would you consider the audio edition of The Thirteenth Tale to be better than the print version?

Yes. The delivery was lush and riveting.


Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator was completely believable. I would follow her anywhere.


Which scene was your favorite?

The descriptions were so beautifully written and the metaphors, creative. I could not possibly choose one scene.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It's one to savor.


Any additional comments?

God bless Lynn Redgrave.

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- pam

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-11-2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio