Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Synopsis: A best-selling author with a mysterious past commissions a young woman to write her biography. This author grew up in a wealthy but depraved home - the story focuses on two twin girls of this family. The biographer meanwhile struggles with her own grief remembering the loss of her twin.
Analysis: The story is dark and rather Gothic, but the ending is relatively positive and hopeful. The writing is what sets this book apart - it was rainy-day-with-a-cup-of-tea sort of book, totally captivating, definitely for book lovers. 9 out of 10. Would recommend to readers of The Historian and Jane Eyre. I adore the description of the library (p.41) and would love to have one like this someday with reading alcoves throughout.
Books Mentioned: The Water Babies, The Woman in White, The Castle of Otranto, Shirley, The Eustace Diamonds, Hard Times
Words I Learned:
  • detritus - debris
  • dilettante - one with an amateurish interest in the arts or other branch of knowledge
  • flaccid - soft and limp
  • pecuniary - of or pertaining to money
  • torpor - lethargy, inactivity
  • baize - a thick, felt-like cloth
  • semaphore - a system or apparatus for making visual signals
  • soporific - drowsy, causing sleep
  • ululation - howling, wailing
  • parterres - flower gardens whose beds form a pattern
  • macula - a discolored spot on the skin characteristic of small pox
  • sussuration - a faint sound resembling whispering
  • vertiginous - dizzy, having or causing a whirling sensation
  • fugue - amnesia-like episode after which a person may have no recollection of what they've done

No comments:

Post a Comment