My rating: 2 of 5 stars
After reading “The Thirteenth Tale,” I was really excited to read Setterfield’s followup. Unfortunately, it’s just not good. It’s difficult to connect or sympathize with any of the characters, particularly the main character, who has no charisma.
We’re led through more than 20 years of the main character’s life, in which he experiences great tragedy, as well as success, but through it all, the audience feels nothing. The story seems more concerned with describing the textile industry and fabrics of the 19th century than conveying any kind of story.
The one redeeming aspect of the novel is the ending, but even that is flawed. The read is given the impression, from about the midpoint of the novel, that the story is supernatural and the further you read, the clearer this becomes, though the realization never comes to the main character.
A very frustrating read in which you want more to happen but are constrained to read only about the minutiae of the main character’s life.