Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Thirteenth Tale / Review

It's been a little while since I post a book review since I've been so lazy with my reading, well, I have a good excuse since my bedroom is clean and pretty!, still, I don't know why it's taking me so long to finish the two books that I started before spring break. They are good books, still there's something missing because during my break I rediscovered the Thirteenth Tale, but let us go to the beginning.
A couple of months ago, while I was working in some project with a professor, I went to her office and on the desk of other professor, a cover caught my eye. She, noticing my curious gaze handed me the book. She said she just started to read it, but it was really good, and recommended me to read it. 
There's one thing you must know about it. I love book recommendations, of course we all do, but depending on the people who made those recommendations, is how I may or may not read a book. Meaning for example, once the professor I was working on the project load me a book, she said "it's the kind of book you love about ghosts and dark things". The book wasn't at all the kind of book that I love, still, it was ok. With bestie James I'm 50/50 since she was the one who recommended me the books from Stig Larsson, but then, she recommended me 50 shades of gray which I couldn't even force myself to go more than the half of the book, and I'm not sure I've even got there.
So when the professor recommended me the book, being the first time she recommended me something, I of course felt the necessity to got the book, and put it on my waiting list of books that I want to read, and since it happens with lots of books, I forgot about it, when others more interesting came my way. How stupid I was, because I didn't even read the description of the book.
During Spring Break, on the second week, I read a tweet from Sophie Turner (yes, I follow her on twitter since I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones!) in which she mentioned something about the bbc movie she worked on, The Thirteenth Tale. and then it hit me, it hit me with all it's force. I remember the book, but since I was already curious about the movie, I got the movie first.
I was caught by the sight of Vanessa Redgrave, I love that woman so much, she's just so great!. So that night, I saw the movie. Not knowing still what the story was about, I must admit that I got scared a few moments, even when it's not a scary movie.
The next morning, I saw it once more, and two more times on Saturday, since by morning I saw it with bestie James and by night with mommy dearest. I started to read the book the next day I saw the movie, and finished it an hr ago.
The book, the book, how to describe the book? Here's the description, from goodreads. 

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

The description itself said it all, but here's the reason why I gave it 5 stars, and why I want to re-read the book so badly. The story of course has a catch, a famous author, the weird biographer, secrets from the past, but it also have something that touched me so profound, the love for books. The way the author, through Margaret's point of view describes her love for books, how she felt when reading, how she devour a book, or got frustrated with others. How she prefers to be reading instead of go out, how she can be lost in real world, and still found herself fascinated by other worlds, the worlds from books. The old, the vintage, the classics, the dusty, the rare founds. Reading about Margaret's world, you just want to be part of it, you simply want to visit her father's bookshop, talk to him, see the rare collection, touch all the books with the tip of your fingers while you walk from bookcase to bookcase. 
If I start talking about Vida Winter, how odd and interesting old woman, what an amazing way she has to tell a story, to caught you and make you wish to know more and more.
The book itself disturbed me because even when there's a lot of books with greater stories, this one for some reason, was close to my heart even more. I can't explain why, probably because i feel so close to Margaret in her love for books, same love that Vida Winter shares. Probably for the secrecy, but like i said, this book touched me in some way others didn't in a while. 
Before I go, a little bit more about the movie. Of course they changed a few details, some important details, but still, they tried to be as faithful to the story as they could, and they made an excellent job. The characters of Vida Winter, Margaret and the twins, same as John the dig, and the missus would be close to my heart, and probably i'm going to watch that movie as many times as I watched Amelie or even more.

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