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The Thirteen: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012
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“Like a gonzo, mirror-universe, occult version of The Stepford Wives, with a dash of Stephen King thrown in ... A compellingly uncanny narrative, binding the tropes of small town paranoia and cliquishness with the chokehold of family obligations and religious fervour, and the very real claustrophobia of poverty and desperation.” (The Globe and Mail)
“A creepy-fun read, with characters ready-made for a Hollywood casting call.” (Maclean's)
“Creepy . . . . Sure to evoke comparisons to Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife, this evocative story will also appeal to fans of Kelley Armstrong’s early works.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An eerie blend of The Stepford Wives, The Witches of Eastwick, and Desperate Housewives . . . features a cast of bewitching characters and a creepy story that will stick with the reader long afterward. (Library Journal)
From the Back Cover
Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing, and the crime rate is practically nonexistent.
Paula Wittmore hasn't been back to Haven Woods since she left as a disgraced teenager. Now she's returning to care for her suddenly ailing mother, and she's bringing her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She's also bringing, unknowingly, the last chance for her mother's closest frenemies . . . twelve women bound together by a powerful secret that requires the sacrifice of a thirteenth.
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This is my first Susie Moloney book and I look forward to reading more. She's an intelligent writer, has a great sense of comedy mixed in with the horror, and really knows how to work her words. I thoroughly enjoyed her style in The Thirteen; loved the thought fragments that immediately gave me the depth I needed without paragraphs of unnecessary prose.
My only complaint is that I found some of the lesser characters under-written, they were so juicy that I wanted to know more about their stories. The woman who sheds fingers? The nymphomaniac? I think the book could have handled the length.
Good stuff, more please!
There comes a point in good novels where the option to put them down passes and in the case of The Thirteen that occurs about midway through the book. The first half of the book is dominated by character development which is well done. However, the second half is where the plot takes over and the story speeds up towards its satisfying conclusion.
If you have never read Susie's work before then this is a great place to start and I highly recommend it. Also, make sure to check out Dry Spell as it is still her best work to date, in my opinion.
The premise is a good one – witches in a small community doing witchy things. The follow-through leaves a lot to be desired, however – especially in the department of editing.
A confusing sentence from the prologue:
Not even when the flames swept up from the floor and began their climb over her
The book is lacking in periods and grammatical punctuation in general. It's also overflowing in brackets with ridiculously useless information, stopping the flow of the story.
The editing was sub-par and many sentences had repeating words with no proper sentence structure. There were also a multitide of incomplete, short sentences. How anyone could make it through the entire book is beyond me. I cannot fathom how it ever got published in the first place, let alone got such a rave review from The Globe and Mail.
Moloney also takes the time out at the end of her book to thank her editor:
Most of all I want to thank the surely supernatural Anne Collins, who edits with elegance and respect, and whose patience and dedication really wrote this book.
I think a certain editor needs to find a new job.
The book could have had the most amazing plot ever written – but you would never know for the ridiculous way it's put together.
Most recent customer reviews
Even though I had read the synopsis on the back cover I still couldn't predict what would happen next.Read more