کتاب سیزدهمین قصه

اثر داین سترفیلد از انتشارات نسل نواندیش - مترجم: نفیسه معتکف-داستان تاریخی

کتاب ماجرایی پررازورمز دارد که نمی‌توان لحظه‌ای آن را زمین گذاشت و بعد از خواندن آن‌هم تا مدت‌ها در ذهن باقی خواهد ماند. مارگارت، نویسنده‌ جوان که از کودکی با کتاب آشنا بود، متوجه می‌شود که خواهر دو قلویش در هنگام تولد فوت کرده است و آگاهی از این مسئله و برملا شدن رازهایی، زندگی‌اش را دگرگون می‌کند. همزمان، خانم وینتر، نویسنده‌ی معروف، در نامه‌ای از مارگارت می‌خواهد زندگینامه‌ی او را بنویسد. مارگارت در طی ملاقات‌هایش با خانم وینتر با دوقلوهایی با شخصیت‌هایی کاملا متفاوت و فراز و نشیب زندگی آنان از دوران کودکی تا بزرگسالی آشنا می‌شود و سرانجام به راز آنان و واقعیت سیزدهمین قصه، قصه‌ای در دل قصه‌هایی دیگر که جایش در تمام آثار خانم وینتر خالی است، پی می‌برد


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مشاهده لینک اصلی
“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”

I dont know if Ive ever loved words so much.

Lots of people told me that this was a book I needed to read, but many of those people also warned me that I might find it slow. So I went into The Thirteenth Tale prepared for a subtle plot that moved at a gentle pace... well maybe my expectations are to blame but that wasnt what I got. Slow?? Not for me. There was not a slow moment in this story because the prose itself was dynamic and consumingly evocative. I was intrigued by the mystery, seduced by the characters and caught up in page after page of well-written family drama.

Do you like...?:
1) Books
2) Mysteries
3) Family dramas

If you said yes to those, then I really cant see any reason you wouldnt love this book. People were right when they said its a book for people who love books. It is. A love of literature and words is enthused in every page of this novel. I find myself believing that had I not already been a bibliophile, an encounter with this book would be enough to have me drooling over the endless possibilities and magic that lie within stories.

I must confess that I am almost always a story person first, a character person at a close second and a language/word person last. This book delivered on all three, but it was the latter that most amazed me. Setterfield completely seduces you with words. I read passages over and over again because I loved the language and style so much.

“Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”


The story is about a biographer called Margaret Lea who very suddenly and unexpectedly receives a hand-written letter from the popular and critically-acclaimed novelist - Vida Winters. Ms Winters wants Margaret to recount her life story, she wants to finally stop telling fictional stories and reveal the truth of her childhood and all its dark secrets. Before accepting, Margaret reads and falls in love with one of the authors books called Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation, but she is surprised to find that it contains only twelve stories... where is the thirteenth tale?

Margaret finds herself unable to refuse the job. And as Vida Winters opens up more and more, both women are forced to confront the demons of their pasts.

I, for one, was totally sucked into every aspect of the story. The writing had hold of me, the characters made me need to know more about their lives, the mysteries surrounding Winters youth kept me guessing. If its possible, I think this book made me love books even more.

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مشاهده لینک اصلی

@Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes–characters even–caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with [email protected]


This quote from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield sums up my experience with the book. It’s been a while since I’ve felt truly drawn in to a novel. Likely this is the result of my recent tendency toward selecting less-than-literary books in an attempt to find some distraction without devoting much real focus to the reading. I’ll admit that it took me a bit to get hooked, but, a few chapters in, I found myself thinking about the novel and the developing plot at times when I was unable to be reading.

There is no reference to time in the setting of The Thirteenth Tale. From the context clues, I’d guess that it’s set in the 1970s. It’s a world where people still write letters and where if phone lines go down in a storm, country homes are cut off from contact with civilization. Manuscripts are written by hand. The feel of the book is reminiscent of Jane Eyre, a novel that itself is woven throughout the plot.

The story begins when Margaret Lea, a little-published biographer, is summoned by Vida Winter, famous novelist. Ms. Winter is finally ready to tell her true life story, rather than another of the many versions she’s given of her life over the years. As she does so, Margaret and the reader are drawn into the mystery that shrouds Ms. Winter. Through the stories she tells Margaret as well as the accounts of Margaret’s own investigations, we eventually learn the truth both about Ms Winter and the legendary Thirteenth Tale, a story that was left out of an early collection written by Ms. Winter. There are enough twists to keep the story interesting and unpredictable.

The book jacket describes The Thirteenth Tale by stating,

@It is a tale of Gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden, and a devastating [email protected]

In reality, it’s that and much more. This book lead me to wonder about identity, love, and the meaning of family. I have a feeling these characters will indeed be in the fiber of my clothes for quite some time.



مشاهده لینک اصلی
@Tell me the [email protected]


These are the words that a young journalist speaks to Vida Winter in the beginning of this book. Vida is an author famous for spinning magical tales. In books, and about her life. Each time she releases a new story, she grants multiple interviews, in which every journalist asks her the story of her life, and leaves thinking that they, finally, after decades of deceptions, are the one shes told the truth to.

But she never does. Until now.

Out of the blue, she writes to an amateur biographer named Margaret Lea, telling her that she has chosen her to be her official biographer. That she is finally ready to tell the truth.

What follows is…something I find myself at a loss to describe. Setterfields prose is of the magical variety. The kind that lifts from the pages to wrap you in its spell and transport you bodily into the book. At one point in the story, Setterfield perfectly describes how I felt when I finally set it down:

@There was a sudden rush in my head, I felt the sick dizziness of the deep-sea diver come too fast to the surface. Aspects of my room came back into view, one by one. My bedspread, the book in my hand, the lamp still shining palely in the daylight that was beginning to creep in through the thin curtains. It was morning. I had read the night [email protected]


I immediately woke up my fiancé (at 5 a.m. on a Saturday) and began to whisper to him about what I had just read. Speaking at full volume didnt seem right, sacrilegious even, because I was still caught in this books thrall and the ghosts of those who haunted the pages seemed to stalk my waking mind.

I finished it four days ago, and still my fingers twitch toward my beautiful hardcover copy. Because The Thirteenth Tale is a book that you need to read at least twice in your life. The first time, to learn the truth. The second time, to see with eyes wide open what is really taking place within these pages.

This is easily one of my top 10 books of all time.

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مشاهده لینک اصلی


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more" rel="me nofollow" target="_blank" style="font-size:small;color:gray">مشاهده لینک اصلی
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