|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Atria Books
Page Count: 406
Fiction Genre: Mystery, Gothic, Historical, Fantasy, Book Club
Dates Read: April 1-15, 2015
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn't know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.
Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.
As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.
Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets... and the ghosts that haunt them still.
Let me warn you, THIS IS NOT A GHOST STORY! That is one theme in this book that they kept stressing. If you're talking about ghosts as family secrets, then by all means, yes this is a ghost story. but if you're talking about ghosts in the traditional sense of the word, then don't even bother opening this book, because it's all lies.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I kept telling myself that if I told myself I liked it that I would start to believe it. Even I couldn't buy that crap. This book was very slow going, and told through many different time periods, but you're not exactly 100% sure which time periods as there is no exact dates or time frames given. There were a few points in this book in which things really picked up and it was difficult to put the book down, until the book slowed to the pace of a turtle fart. In these moments I had to force myself to muddle through this mess of a story. My biggest criticism of this book is that Setterfield tried to cram so many plot lines in here that she wasn't able to focus much time on them, but spent a majority of her writing bridging her concepts. This book was kind of like Inception. There was a plot, within a plot, within a plot, withing a plot, within another plot. The list of plots and characters was becoming so long that at times it was becoming difficult to keep the secondary characters straight.
Please, if you love your mind and sanity, and enjoy avoiding reading frustrations, please do not read this book.
I give this a 2 out of 5.