Jun 10, 2012

The Thirteen

The Thirteen   (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by: Susie Moloney

Published by: William Morrow & Company

Age: Adult

When everything is going wrong, my first inclination is to deal with the problems by going home. When I have the flu I want my mommy. I might be alone, but I doubt it.

This has never been Paula's solution. She was forced to leave her house as a pregnant teen and only came back once in the dozen years since. But when her mother takes ill and everything in her life falls apart at the same time, she heads home to suburban Haven Woods to help out her mother and that's when her real problems start.

The reason why Haven Woods and so many of its female inhabitants seem to have everything going for them is a little secret kept by the ringleader Izzy and 12 other women in her circle. They sacrifice much, even that which is not theirs to sacrifice, to get and keep that which they want most. Paula and her daughter Rowan are in the sights of this selfish little club- will they escape with their lives?

The story is about sacrifice and about family, and the three generations of Wittmore women are engaging characters who drive the story forward. But it's also about how a shortcut isn't always the easy way out.

As great as the characters and plot and pacing are, it takes a little time to get used to the way Rowan's point-of-view is written. There are a lot of expository parentheses and the style is a little disjointed. It's not that out of character for a pre-teen, but it is very difficult for an old lady like me to read.

The Thirteen is about magic and the supernatural and some parts are very creepy, but it never goes over into "can't sleep at night" territory. No clowns, anyway, but it might only be me that thinks clowns are the hallmark of literary terror. It's kind of like the supernatural Nora Roberts books I've read, and there is even a little romance. I think it would be great as a summer beach read, as the Japanese believe that the chills from frightening things help you fight the heat. This was my first book from Canadian Susie Moloney, but it won't be my last.

This is the 44th book I have read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge. The 6th Canadian Book Challenge starts July 1, and you can sign up at The Book Mine Set. Do it!


  1. Don't worry, you aren't alone in your fear of clowns. I watched 'It' in my mid teens and refuse to read the book because books usually freak me out much worse than movies.
    I might have to read it if only to see how the parentheses work out, since that's how I write my blogs (though not my stories themselves).

    1. The way this was written with parentheses isn't at all the way you write (adding extra information). It's actually just rephrasing of a thought, kind of like we would use strike through. But there are a couple things that make it odd. First is the fact that the parentheses are on a different line by themselves so they stick out. But second is that nothing she is saying is jokey or offensive, but it's like she is censoring herself even though it's her own thoughts not dialogue. It just didnt work for me, but everything else was good.

  2. I read one of her other books, 362 Belisle St. and quite enjoyed it. It was creepy as well without being pull-the-bedcovers-over-your-head terrifying. I didn't even know she was Canadian! I'm really not one for scary books, Stephen King apart, so if I come across this one I'll read it, if I don't, oh well!

    1. Oh I will have to look that one up too. That's the kind of creepy I like.


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