Mythic, beguiling and as rich as one of Aurelius’ cakes!
The long wait for Setterfield 2 now being nearly over, I have dusted off my Amazon review of this, posted 6 YEARS ago – we actually had 7 YEARS to wait – The Thirteenth tale was published in 2006! The second will be released later this autumn, and (lucky me) an advanced copy awaits my highly expected delectation and delight. Please, please, Diane Setterfield, please don’t disappoint, but as you can see below, from my excessively gushing reaction, she has set a hard act for herself to follow!
In 2007 I said:
Setterfield mixes a hefty dose of ‘Jane Eyre’, sifts in a fair helping of ‘Turn of The Screw’, adds some Alain Fournier, a bit of atmosphere from ‘Bleak House’, deft touches from ‘Rebecca’ and a whisk of Angela Carter, and manages to serve up this tempting collation which is all itself, and I’m sure will have readers of future bookes by other authors saying ‘this has touches of Setterfield’
Not being one who likes to read (or write) reviews which ‘tell the story’ – if you’ve read the book, you know the story anyway, and if you haven’t – well, read the book itself, not the plot summary which might spoil the surprise of the book in store – I can only say that if the brooding, unreal yet real, almost dream landscape of the authors mentioned above delight you and left you longing for a similar fix, try Setterfield.
This is a beautiful, slow, poignant piece of writing and double journey – both the narrator’s and her storyteller’s.
Though the twists and turns of the plot were ahead of me every step of the way – and yet so RIGHT when they arrived, I actually found myself prepared to wait, and savour the smallness of each moment, rather than going faster and faster because I couldn’t wait to find out ‘what happened next’
To manage that juggle is splendid indeed.
My only disappointment is (and it’s a big one……this is a FIRST novel, so I can’t go rushing off to the pleasure of her previous canon of works. Damn, damn, damn. (As above, the wait is over………………..