'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield - Discussion Questions

Thirteenth Tale - Book Club Questions

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a rich story about secrets, ghosts, winter, books and family. These book club discussion questions on The Thirteenth Tale will help you explore Setterfield's masterfully created story.

Spoiler Warning: These book club discussion questions reveal important details about The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Finish the book before reading on.

  1. Books play an important role in The Thirteenth Tale. Discuss Margaret and Miss Winter's relationships to books and stories. Could you relate to them? What is your relationship to books? Do you agree with Miss Winter that stories can reveal truth better than simply stating it?
  1. The two houses in The Thirteenth Tale--Angelfield and Miss Winter's estate--are prominent in the story. How do the houses reflect the characters who live in them? What do you think they represent?
  2. Why do you think Margaret obeyed Miss Winter's summons?
  3. Miss Winter asks Margaret if she would like to hear a ghost story. Who are the ghosts in the story? In what ways are different characters haunted (Margaret, Miss Winter, Aurelius)?
  4. Why do you think Margaret's sister's death affected her so profoundly? Why do you think she was able to move beyond it at the end of the novel?
  5. After Mrs. Dunne and John Digence die, Miss Winter says "the girl in the mist" emerges. Did you believe that Adeline had matured? If not, did you suspect the true identity of the character?
  6. When did you first suspect Miss Winter's true identity? Were you surprised? Looking back, what clues did she give you?
  7. Do you think Adeline or Emmeline was saved from the fire?
  1. What is the significance of Jane Eyre to the story?
  2. Do you think it is harder to keep a secret or confess the complete truth?
  3. Were you satisfied with the way the story ended for various characters--Aurelius, Hester, Margaret?
  4. Rate The Thirteenth Tale on a scale of 1 to 5.