Margaret Lea is an avid reader, especially of old novels and journals. A bookseller’s daughter, she practically grew up in her dad’s antiquarian bookstore, and dabbles in writing biographies of people long dead, people who come alive in the books she reads.
One day she receives a letter from Vida Winter, a famous yet reclusive writer whose life is shrouded in mystery — all the existing accounts of her life are different yarns she has spun at her whim. She has never told the truth about her life, until now, when she decided to contact Margaret to write her biography.
Margaret has never read Vida Winter’s work, and she is hesitant. She searches the bookstore’s shelves for a first edition of Vida Winter’s book, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She reads the book and is gripped by the first twelve tales, and when she turns the next page, she discovers that the thirteenth tale is missing.
Determined to find out about the thirteenth tale and the truth to Vida Winter’s life, Margaret Lea decides to accept the project. Vida Winter tells Margaret a haunting tale about an estate in the moors, twin girls, a governess and a ghost. As the dying author’s story unfolds, Margaret’s own family secrets surface, and she comes face to face with the past that has always haunted her.
Very very interesting :)
My copy: trade paperback (bought full-price at Powerbooks) upgraded into a hardcover with dustjacket (from the NBS hardbound sale)
My rating: 4/5 stars