6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Thirteenth Tale (Paperback)I bought this book because I had enjoyed immensely Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger and I generally like the Gothic genre.
I read it till the last page as the story was gripping but I coulnd't find anything more than that in this book. All the raving reviews about it being a debut novel failed to point out, in my opinion, how immature the writing is. I found most characters and some turns of the plot not at all credible. Some parts of the book have the narrative depth of a fairy tale, things just happen and it's not really clear why. I'm thinking of Isabelle deciding to join a neighbour's picnic party all of a sudden, after years of seclusion. Or of the various characters surviving for decades locked up in a room. Or of Wonder Woman-Hester.
I don't know much about twins, but for it being such a key theme, I don't think the book does such a great job in describing in a convincing way the protagonist's sufference for her sister's loss. The same goes for Margaret's mother's permanent loss of empathy with her only surviving daughter.
Margaret's and her father's relationship with books and the character of Vida Winter/Miss March were the only convincing bits of the novel for me.