I had read reviews about this book in magazines before deciding to buy. It had amazing reviews for a debut novel, and so I bought it the other day.
And I was happy…
This book captivated throughout. The opening paragraph set the theme, and soon I found myself entering into the worlds of the characters. The language, phrases and sentences are effective and apt. The author has been able to create the atmosphere which hooks the reader.
Miss Vida Winter the celebrity author, who is in a need of a good biographer, finds Miss Lea.
Miss Lea describes herself as a ‘ dilettante, a talented amateur’ I loved this phrase.
I found myself entangled between the story within the story as the two women lead each other through their past and take the reader through this engrossing journey. Miss Winter has already written twelve tales about her life, which are not true and the thirteenth tale is missing and intriguing too. Miss Lea demands the truth from the author as together they discover a world of ghosts, which transforms them at the end when the truth is revealed. It teases you throughout as you want to know what lies beyond to find out the truth. This book has a glimpse of Rebecca and Jane Eyre both with the mysterious world of twins, ghosts, and the dead.
Some sentences, phrases and paragraphs left me spellbound with the sheer brilliance.
“For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you, they work at their magic……..”
The characters, the atmosphere, the world of twins, the ghosts and the parallel worlds of the two main characters is described in a wonderful manner. The eeriness of the Angelfield house the mysterious happenings, the gardener and the housekeeper all give a perfect setting.
The tale is gripping. As one review says it is difficult to put the book down for a cuppa.
A book worth reading
Diane Setterfield is a former academic, specializing in twentieth-century French literature. She lives in Yorkshire, England.