Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature
  • Location: Yorkshire

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

Why a Booktrail?

2000s, 1980s: A house can hold so many secrets..until the day they unravel…

  • ISBN: 978-1409147763
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie; and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret hiding in Margaret’s own, troubled life?

As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life…

Travel Guide

The thirteenth tale set in Yorkshire


The settings in the book are fictional as is the main house Angelfield where most of the book is set.

The TV adaptation starring Olivia Coleman and Vanessa Redgrave however was filmed in and around two main locations – Duncombe Park  where most of the exterior shots where filmed and Burton Agnes Hall where the interior shots were filmed in the red room. Both can be visited by the public but Duncombe Park has more grounds and things to see.

Imagine arriving at Ribblesworth station as they did in the TV adaptation and heading up to Angelfield where you are to write a memoir of a woman with secrets to tell. Secrets about twins, a house where the walls have ears, a house left to children when their guardians die. Death seems to stalk these walls and the grounds outside. There is a gardener who takes care of the children in the house along with his wife, but even he doesn’t know the full story.

Twins – identical twins at that – running around the hallowed halls, the grand gardens outside, the open spaces yet in a world of their own. When in the present day a writer comes to take down the story of his house and its ghosts, one woman knows more than she is letting on…

Booktrailer Review


There’s lots to love about this book:

Set in a gothic house
Huge gardens with mysterious paths
An elderly author lives there as recluse
A biographer is invited to come and interview her about books…
The house has secrets in its walls…

This is one gripping and very visual novel. I’ve seen the adaptation on the TV but the book is so much more immersive and gothic. I would even say the mystery, sense of foreboding and gothic overtones consumed me whilst reading and I felt chills and thrills I’ve never felt before.
At its heart is a family mystery, one that weaves and wanders its way through your heart and the pages until its flourishing and wonderful reveals. It’s a book about the love of books, the wonder of reading and stories across time so any bibliophile out there is going to drink it in.
Vida Winters, the author in the story writes a letter (a handwritten letter!)to a biographer Margaret Lea as she finally wants to tell the truth. The truth about the house, family, stories and secrets within.
Margaret is intrigued about one book the author has written called
Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation,but this only contains twelve stories… where is the thirteenth tale? (Cue chills on the back of my neck)

I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed it until now. Maybe I felt the time was right to revisit as I’ve just read it for the Nth time. This house, these characters are where I like to go and visit from time to time when I feel I need time alone.
Especially when there are lines like this:

“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.”

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Thirteenth Tale

Destination: Yorkshire  Author/guide: Diane Setterfield Departure Time: 2000s, looking back

Back to Results

Featured Book

A Poisoner’s Tale

1651: Inspired by the true story of Giulia Tofana: The Angel of Death with a Vial of Vengeance

Read more