This is a "yes, if you have nothing else pressing, you should read this book" book. While I certainly enjoyed the story (stories, all wound together), and while I got a great kick out of the twists and turns the novel took, it still just amounted to loads of froth. I have always been a fan of the gothic romance/mystery, so this was an awfully fun and familiar style, but, based on the glimpse we got of the thirteenth, I would far rather have read the other twelve tales, and wish that they were real. Vida Winter sounds like an incredible author! Since her stuff isn't available, I think I'd rather go back and read Jane Eyre, The Lady in White, Emma, or Middlemarch than this book again.
"My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie." --Vida Winter
Now that's good stuff! That is exactly why I read.