I finally finished The Thirteenth Tale today. I loved it. It was very entertaining and it kept me guessing until the end (although I do agree with Ben that I probably couldn’t have guessed it on my own and a good mystery should allow the reader to figure it out if she tries hard enough). But otherwise I loved it and I would recommend it to everyone. I think those who love books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights will especially like it. The entire time I was reading it I never wanted to put it down. It was only because of the practicalities of life that it took me so long to read it. I had a three-hour break today, so I curled up in a chair by the fire at Amer’s and read until I finished.
I think it is interesting that that I read this book after Dreams from My Father because they both dealt with identity issues. In both books, the people are trying to fit in to their lives despite odd family circumstances that seem to limit how well they will fit. I’ve had my share of identity issues and odd family circumstances myself, so maybe that is why I like these books.
Spoiler alert! Don’t read this paragraph if you haven’t read the book yet. Highlight to read. Like I said above, I don’t think that it would have been possible to guess that there were three girls. I did notice some of the changes (like the change in pronouns and the fact that no one in the house thought it odd when “Adeline” started acting normal), but I don’t think I would ever have guessed that there were three girls. I didn’t really care for the way that she summed up everyone’s lives
at the end, but at least she told us that’s what she was doing. I also didn’t like that she gave Margaret that little bit of romance at the end, but it was subtle so I can live with it. Every character in the book seems to have this sadness in their life which really made you feel for them. I never cried (it’s not really one of those books), but I was always just a little sad reading it because every character is hurting in some way. But we all have our stories and our secrets, so it makes them more lifelike.