In the past, deciding what book to read next has been a really long process. I have stacks of books in a little shelf by the bed, plus a few boxes of books here and there in the attic, under the bed, etc. I usually will pick and choose, looking through the pile, but recently I've been doing something different. I'm just grabbing the next book on the stack.
Which is how I ended up reading The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. This haunting, beautiful book is exactly what I needed, and I'm not sure I would have picked it out of the stack if I had been pickier. Not because it didn't sound intriguing, but because I hadn't heard a lot of people talking about it. It's on the to-read list for a lot of my goodreads friends, but not many have read it yet.
This book sits in the literary world somewhere between Jane Eyre and Frankenstein, with a dash of Girl Friday. A book seller turned journalist ends up interviewing a mysterious author essentially on her deathbed. The journalist, who has her own traumatic past, learns about the author's sordid, gothic childhood and uncovers murder, secrets and drama. Throughout, however, the mystery of what the "Thirteenth Tale" is remains...
The most impressive thing about this book is that even when I had figured out the big secret, I was still completely enthralled by the storytelling. Usually, once I've solved the mystery I get bored with a book, but this one still kept me reading. Even though I knew what was happening, I was wrapped up in all the details of HOW it would happen.
As a writer, I always want to pay attention when an author can keep me intrigued even if I know the end of the tale already... (ie. Hamilton, or Titanic...)
And that's all I'll say about that, because anything else would be spoilers.
The next book in my stack is:The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
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