Friday, January 18, 2008

another tale

I thought I was the first. I thought I had found a gem, and that, for the first time, I was going to be able to tell people about something they hadn’t heard of before. Boy, was I wrong. Before I even had a chance to write my comments and review, Chloe mentions that she already knew and that she was gathering with women that night to talk about it. What? How? And then Housewife tells me that she knows, too! And that Janssen is the one that told her! Why, that little… So I do a little checking, and not only did Janssen know first, she knew all the way back in October 2007. How did I miss that? Man, do I feel like a fool.

Anyway, I thought I had picked The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, at random. I thought it was “some secret treasure.” And for me, it really was. It got off to a little bit of a rocky start for me, and I wasn’t sure if I thought it was the strangest, well-written story ever, or if I just enjoyed it. In the end I just enjoyed it. The story was engaging and the writing was superb.

One of my favorite passages from this book came near the end, as the main character, Margaret Lea, speaks of breaking down and loosing herself in her grief.

When I came to myself Dr. Clifton was there. He put an arm around me. "I know," he said. "I know."

He didn't know, of course. Not really. And yet that was what he said, and I was soothed to hear it. For I knew what he meant. We all have our sorrows, and although the exact delineaments, weight and dimensions of grief are different for everyone, the color of grief is common to us all. "I know," he said, because he was human, and therefore, in a way, he did.
This book was the most enjoyable I’ve read in a long time. I’m kicking myself for not picking it up when Janssen originally reviewed it, but I tell you this cautionary tale so you don’t make the same mistake.

1 comment:

Janssen said...

Hahaha, sorry :)

Wasn't it a great book? I'm so glad you liked it. And, because I'm just nerdy like this, I especially like that the library copy I read had very thick pages with the ends unevenly cut. Just makes me feel like a real reader!