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Extended Audio Sample The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Audiobook, 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: Henshall , Lynn Redgrave, Ruthie Henshall Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780743563833
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Setterfield, a former professor of 20th-century French literature, is a deft stylist and talented technician. Both her love for literature and the depth of her learning enliven her debut novel.”

    Washington Post

  • “Beautifully written and highly intelligent. Blissful escapism for literate (and literary) females who love an old-fashioned story.”

    Times (London)

  • “Setterfield proves a mistress of the craft of storytelling and her musings about the pleasures of reading are beguiling.”

    Guardian

  • “Setterfield’s first novel is equally suited to a rainy afternoon on the couch or a summer day on the beach.”

    Library Journal

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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Neves | 2/19/2014

    " I liked the genre--an English mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/19/2014

    " Any book that can keep me on the treadmill for my entire lunch hour is a winner! The story just sucked me in, the moors, the ruins, the books, the secrets,the storytellers....a little suspense, sadness, romance, and the promise of a happy ending for some of the characters. Including Shadow the cat. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christy Huddleston | 2/2/2014

    " Drags on and on and on... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michellelynnhooper | 2/2/2014

    " Excellent! Lots of twists! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renae Rush | 1/31/2014

    " One of my favorite books to date! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandey | 1/12/2014

    " Beautiful and mysterious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruby Oh | 12/19/2013

    " utterly utterly beautiful "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tsukiori | 12/11/2013

    " It was a really good read! I could hardly put this down. It does get a little bit first book-ish at the end, but still a very haunting tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 12/1/2013

    " I LOVED this book. This is one of those books you want to read for the first time over and over again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Williams | 11/29/2013

    " It was sometimes hard to keep up with. My book club - no one agreed about the ending but.... I think that is one of the things that makes it a great book. It is a book that I still think about from time to time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Jolly | 11/4/2013

    " Very quick read, very similiar to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten. Definately recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee Pujols | 10/15/2013

    " Fantastic fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 8/12/2013

    " Just one word to describe it... weird! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 2ridges | 8/1/2013

    " Read to the end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy | 7/13/2013

    " Though it was quite disturbing in parts, it was a good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Letizia | 5/2/2013

    " I am not a mystery fan but this book knocked my socks off! loved it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea Chvala | 3/5/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book! One of a few great books that I have read lately. I found that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't seem to figure out what was going to happen next. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy Malish | 1/23/2013

    " Loved it! Couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah - Exploring All Genres | 10/29/2012

    " Really enjoyed this. Review to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stedwards | 10/27/2012

    " very absorbing, very creepy mystery. as a book lover i identified, best fiction i've read in a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ire | 10/21/2012

    " Ho adorato questo libro...l'incontro tra due donne di generazioni diverse, ma legate da un dolore comune, cattura completamente il lettore che insieme alla protagonista scopre pagina per pagina questo racconto meraviglioso di una vita intera. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 9/23/2012

    " A great book for people who really like to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Crystal Huiting | 6/10/2012

    " A lot of people I know liked it, so I picked it for my turn in book club and I could barely finish it!! In my opinion .... Boring "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/23/2011

    " A fun read- sucks you in and won't let you go til you finish! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Loradonna | 10/4/2011

    " One of the best books I've read in a long time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 5/31/2011

    " LOVE LOVE LOVE!
    Mystery, love story all in one. Kept me trying to figure it out the entire way through. Loved the writing style. Definately would recommend. It pulls you in and engulfs you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisalee27 | 5/31/2011

    " Slow to start but picks up nicely after about 30 pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 5/30/2011

    " Definitely on the dark side wrt plot and some of the characters, by the end of the story I felt more sympathetic towards the protagonist. Kept my interest throughout. Would recommend to others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcella | 5/30/2011

    " This is one of my favorite audio books. The readers really brought the two main characters to life. I loved the insights into the joy of books & reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya | 5/30/2011

    " I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. A very interesting read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/27/2011

    " Gothic & well-written beach read. I should have figured out all the secrets much sooner- but (alas) I did not. Hmmph. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 5/26/2011

    " This book was do captivating, I couldn't put it down. It was full of mystery and intrigue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 5/26/2011

    " Wow. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did- a pleasant surprise! What a great story. It was told well, and had interesting characters that were easy to empathize with. I think my favorite character is Aurelius (his story is wonderful!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Milla | 5/26/2011

    " An enjoyable read. The tale jumps back and forth between the past and the present but with a clear logic. The plot proceeds quickly enough to keep the reader interested. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 5/25/2011

    " A super fun gothic read. Fascinating story line, nicely tied up at the end. Jane Eyre fans will love this book. Great vacation read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 5/24/2011

    " Read this for book club during the month of October. Good "scary" halloween story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 5/23/2011

    " If I could have I would have given this a 4.5. I really liked it. Might have helped that I read it on a weekend away, so was able to get "swept up" in the story. Good read :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 5/23/2011

    " Interesting how the author takes you back through her father's love of antique books and then she finds herself in a rescue of an unusual amount of antique books that leads her to a story of death, betrayal and mystery. Different than anything I have read before. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristy | 5/22/2011

    " I read this awhile ago and I remember enjoying it but couldn't tell you what it was about. So ... good at the time, but not memorable. "

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About the Author
Author Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield is a former academic, specializing in twentieth-century French literature. She lives in Yorkshire, England.

About the Narrators

Lynn Redgrave, a member of Britain’s greatest acting family, is internationally known for her work on stage, screen, and television. As narrator of the World of Philosophy series, she brings to life the timeless and vital themes of the world’s great philosophical traditions.

Ruthie Henshall has appeared on Broadway in Chicago, Putting It Together, and Miss Saigon. She has also starred in numerous West End of London productions including Chicago, Crazy For You, She Loves Me (Olivier Award) and Les Miserables.