I wanted to like this book. I read the reviews before I nominated it as one of our book club picks and it seemed like an enjoyable read. Unfortunately, I had to give The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield only two stars. The biggest reason I marked it down was because of the detail. Don't get me wrong...every book should have detail. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to create the fictional world and/or characters in our minds. Yet, this book just had WAY too much description. It took nearly two pages to describe a burnt down house.
There was so much description that I tended to get lost in what I was reading. I consider myself to be a very good reader. I'm fairly quick and I understand what goes on even if I were to skim the pages...but during the Thirteenth Tale, I caught myself having to go back and re-read what I read just to understand it. I also recall at least three times that I couldn't even decipher which narrator was telling the story. As much as I tried (I had to finish it for book club!) I just couldn't get into it. I think it was around chapter on page 280 (of 406) that I started to finally get into it. I don't know if it was because it got interesting, or because I saw that the end was near.
Then there comes the plot twist that didn't leave me in shock. It wasn't a scene stealing, "OMG" moment. To me, it was no surprise and almost expected. The Postscript section, although probably for some readers was needed as a point of closer, left me feeling that it wasn't really needed. Or at least it could have been better...like :::SPOILER ALERT!!!:::::
some freak mix up at the hospital and Margaret's twin, never really died at birth. Now that would of been a shocker and a jaw dropping end to an otherwise not very captivating (in my opinion) book.
Diane Setterfield also makes a ton of references to Jane Eyre, which is somewhat ironic only because this reminded me of a Jane Eyre story as it was a hard read. I thought Jane Eyre was a hard read only because of the early language. At least Jane Eyre was easier to follow because I didn't have to re-read details and details about Jane and Rochester just to get their story. I only had to look up definitions.
So again, as much as I would want to give The Thirteenth Tale at least 4 stars...I am sad to say that it was a two star book.