The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


Vida Winter is a famous and loved author, but very little is known about her. Countless interviews turn out to be simple stories she uses to keep her past hidden. As her life is reaching it’s end, she decides to finally tell her story.

Vida chooses Margaret Lea, a young biographer who has yet to tell the story of a living person. She lives with her on troubled past, and one word piques her interest in Vida’s story: twins.

I’ve come to realize that as much as I love books… as much as I love reading them, and looking at them, and simply being among books… reading about someone doing the same does not hold my interest.

I stopped reading this one a little over 50 pages in. After dozens of pages of learning Margaret’s relationship to books and the bookstore she runs, the introduction of Vida was welcome, but not strong enough to keep me going forward. She was, maybe, just a little too eccentric for me.

I think the story itself had promise, but I would have preferred if the writing were more straightforward, and the discussion of books had been lessened at the beginning.

1) Overall Plot = 3.5
2) Characters = 3.5
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 2
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 4
5) Overall Enjoyability = 2.5

Average score of 3.1 out of 5

Where to buy the book: Amazon

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd


Byrd-LadyThousandTreasures
The Sheffield Brothers firm is well-known among collectors. Trained by her father and her uncle, Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator, able to tell a fraud from a genuine artifact. But in 1860’s England, Eleanor is unable to run the firm as un unwed woman. After her father’s death, her uncle’s health begins to decline, and business can be hard to come by.

The death of a long-time client puts Eleanor in the position to decide the fate of his expensive collection. The late Lord Lydney doesn’t want the collection to go to his only living son, Harry, who he believes is untrustworthy. He suggests she give the collection to a museum, but she must decide.

The decision won’t be easy. Giving the collection to the museum could boost her firm’s reputation, but Harry, the man who stole and broke her heart, doesn’t appear to be who his father believes him to be.

Eleanor must decide what is true, and who is genuine.

Sandra Byrd has given us another fantastic historical novel! I fell in love with her Daughters of Hampshire series, and after reading this novel I can say that I’m likely to love her new series, Victorian Ladies.

Sandra does an excellent job bringing the reader into 1860’s England, and gives us characters that we care for and root for. Eleanor faces difficult circumstances, and lives out her faith through it all.

If you want a clean, suspenseful, inspiring read, this is definitely a novel you want to pick up.

1) Overall Plot = 5
2) Characters = 5
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 5
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 5
5) Overall Enjoyability = 5

Average score of 5 out of 5

Where to buy the book: CBD | Amazon | B&N

I was given the opportunity to be a part of Sandra’s promotional team for the release of this book. As part of the team, I received a complimentary copy of the book, but was not required to give a positive review.