Let the Past Haunt You Again | The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Posted on December 7, 2015 «
Categories: book review, the Encore «
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The Encore replaces my Rewind Review feature. This feature will give me the opportunity share older reviews and posts, and reviews of books I’ve re-read. I hope you’ll join in the conversation, share your thoughts on re-reads and older discussion posts. Enjoy!

SPOILER ALERT! Since this is a re-read, this review will probably contain spoilers. Proceed with caution!

book review thirteenth tale diane setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is the perfect mix of mystery and suspense. I first picked up this novel back in 2011 and zipped right through it. It’s a novel about two authors—both with secrets. And in September, I was in bit of a reading slump and decided to check out the audiobook from the library.

Is it possible that the audiobook was better than actually picking up the book and reading it? Granted, after a bit of research, I discover the MP3 version of the book my library had was the abridged version, which explains the bit of confusion I had when the Adeline and Emmeline’s mother was suddenly NOT around anymore. But that was the only time I noticed a skip in the story, something out of place. Despite being the abridged version, it was pieced together quite well.

Ruthie Henshall and Lynn Redgrave did a stellar job capturing Margaret and Ms. Winter. The story flowed back and forth between them as if we were sipping tea together in Ms. Winter’s cozy library. I was whisked to Angelfield watching Adeline and Emmeline grow up as Ms. Winter (Redgrave) revealed her story. When the story was told from Margaret’s point of view, I could feel the curiosity, hurt and longing in Ms. Henshall’s voice. Their narration went far in conveying the emotions and motivations behind the stories being told.

On this second reading, the reveal seemed a little hastily tied together at the end. I’m not sure if that was because certain aspects of the novel were taken out, or this was my second read and as a result, I pieced things together faster than the characters. Either way, I did enjoy the novel on this second read through. The story is wrought with suspense and for a brief time, you’re left wondering if Adeline and Emmeline will survive and if ghosts are real.


book review thirteeth tale diane setterfield


The Quick Book Review

Let the Past Haunt You Again | The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale

Author: Diane Setterfield
Narrator: Lynn Redgrave, Ruthie Henshall
Published on: October 9, 2007
Pages: 406
Length: 7 hours, 11 minutes
Genres: mystery, adult, historical fiction
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

Originally Read: February 21 to March 08, 2011



About Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield is a British author. Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale (2006) was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold more than three million copies. It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being ‘a love letter to reading’ as for its mystery and style. Her second novel is Bellman & Black (2013).

Born in Englefield, Berkshire in 1964, Diane spent most of her childhood in the nearby village of Theale. After schooldays at Theale Green, Diane studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in André Gide’s early fiction. She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. She left academia in the late 1990s to pursue writing.

The Thirteenth Tale was acquired by Heyday Films and adapted for television by the award-winning playwright and scriptwriter, Christopher Hampton. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, it was filmed in 2013 in North Yorkshire for BBC2.

Diane Setterfield’s 2013 novel, Bellman & Black which layers themes of time, memory and loss is published in the autumn of 2013 in UK, USA, Canada, Norway and Spain. Other countries are to follow in 2014.

Diane lives in Oxford, in the UK. When not writing she reads widely, and when not actually reading she is usually talking or thinking about reading. She is, she says, ‘a reader first, a writer second.’

(from GoodReads)



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4 responses to “Let the Past Haunt You Again | The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

  1. I haven’t read this book but I agree that rereading books are awesome! Since I discovered audiobooks (and since the library has Overdrive), I have been rereading a lot of my faves, and also finishing books that were DNFs when I read them (like Hunger Games and I’m so glad I did because that series is awesome!).

    I haven’t come across an abridged audiobook yet and I’m not sure if I would want to listen to one.

    • I didn’t know this was an abridged audio until I was doing the review and couldn’t find the right narrators. A bit more digging and I figured it out. I don’t normally listen to abridged audios, but it’s tough when it isn’t obvious on Overdrive.

  2. I love re-reads! I am not a fan of audio books as I feel I don’t get the nuances of the story. But I may try it on a re-read since I already know the story. 🙂