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Download The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel, by Diane Setterfield Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (122,039 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Diane Setterfield Narrator: Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.

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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Setterfield, who lives in Yorkshire, offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures.” 

    Publishers Weekly 

  • The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled.” 


  • “Setterfield’s old-fashioned storytelling and love for literature that makes the novel stand out.” 

    Bookmarks magazine 

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 Dilys Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 2007 Audie Award
  • Winner of the 2007 YALSA Alex Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heather Ryall-korekiyo | 2/19/2014

    " My favourite book. The characters are so richly written and the story is compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Anissa | 2/9/2014

    " I'd been wanting to read this for a while & I expected to really love it. I liked it. I loved how descriptive it was in places. Most specifically the retelling of events at Angelfield. Feral children, a ghost, a couple domestics & two mad adults all knocking about in a dilapidated house, had me from the start. Unfortunately the equal time given to Margaret & her rumination on events broke the continuity for me. And I honestly grew tired of Margaret's "twin sightings" in reflective surfaces. After a while I thought she was soppy & melodramatic and a bit less interesting. Where I began wanting to know about the ill that ailed the Lea family in detail, I no longer cared. I think the twin theme was a bit heavy handed but am open to believing that it was lost on me as I am an only. I worked out the connections early enough & the ending for Vida Winter was no surprise but I didn't find that an impediment to overall enjoyment. I'd recommend this for a weekend read for setting alone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michelle | 2/6/2014

    " This novel was and remains amazing. Ms.Setterfield's intricately woven descriptions and characters truly come to life. This book changed reading for me. I was always a fan, but then it became an addiction. Thank you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah Kish | 1/31/2014

    " It seemed to have the potential to be an interesting story but I did not like the writing and I did not like the main character. "

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