Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale


Two days.

Suppers were late, a child was neglected for the two days that I lived this book. The first couple of chapters were so-so but once the story within the story started I was hooked and couldn't put it down. This description of Margaret and her father reading about covers it:

"In the background is the hiss of the gas heater; we hear the sound without hearing it for, side by side, together and miles apart, we are deep in our books.

'Shall I make tea?' I ask, surfacing.

No answer.

I make tea all the same, and put the cup next to him on the desk.

An hour later the untouched tea is cold. I make a fresh pot and put another steaming cup beside him on the desk. He is oblivious to my every movement."

There isn't much I can say about this book without giving away all the juicy little bits that make it so worth reading. What I can tell you is that the narrator, Margaret, is invited to write the biography of a popular but reclusive novelist. Her story is an unbelievable tale of a bizarre family in England. It reminded me a lot of Wuthering Heights because of the insanity and the passions of the people involved.

About half way through, I had a nagging little voice whispering, "There is a huge hole in the plot here. I swear I can see the living room wall through it." But the story had me and it wasn't letting go. Then, toward the end, TA-DAH! it all came together and made perfect sense. It was one of those moments as a reader that I live for. Brilliant. All I can tell you is Jane Eyre is the key, but I can't say how. It comes up everywhere and I love when my favorite books turn up in my reading.
This was Kristin choice. What good taste she has! I loved this book. It's probably the best I've read so far this year. Kristin loved it as well. I think she could relate to it as an obsessive reader. I know I could. There were several references to coming out of a book blurry eyed. I've felt that way often.

1 comment:

naida said...

this book sounds great, I'll have to add it to my TBR list.