ABOUT THE BOOK:
READ AN EXCERPT:
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier is a 1952 publication. This version is the 2013 Little, Brown and Company publication.
A scathingly wicked masterpiece-
This book has a very heavy atmospheric quality that drew me in right from the start. In fact, I was so transfixed, I put aside everything else and gave myself over to its allure.
Phillip Ashley was raised by his cousin, Ambrose, a confirmed bachelor. They are content with their arrangement, and with Phillip’s role as heir to Ambrose’s legacy.
However, Phillip’s complacency is upended quite unexpectedly when Ambrose travels to Florence, meets ‘our cousin, Rachel’, a woman with a connection to their family, and immediately falls under her spell.
In a shockingly brief period of time, Ambrose goes from wedded bliss to death, leaving Phillip furious with Rachel, suspecting her of contributing to his cousin’s demise in some way, shape, or form.
But, when Rachel shows up at his doorstep with Ambrose’s belongings, Phillip too finds himself enchanted by Rachel and soon forgets all about his earlier jealousies and suspicions. Until…
I have several books in my collection written by this author, but the only one I’ve read is, ‘Rebecca’,
When this book began to recirculate due to a motion picture and a ‘great library reads’ promo, my interest was highly piqued.
Finally, I managed to work it into my schedule, but I wish I had discovered this gem sooner!
This book has so many layers, yet it progresses slowly, adding sinister nuances, bit by bit, until I found myself helplessly trapped in the author’s, oh so clever web before I knew what had happened, maybe a bit like Phillip, eh?
This book combines Gothic mystery, strong feminist undertones, psychological mind games, vanity, guilt, and suspicion, which nearly made me delirious with delight. But, it also left me with a plethora of theories and speculations.
Is Rachel guilty… or was it really Phillip? Or was she Innocent? Both? Was Phillip just a pawn in Rachel’s master plan? Did Phillip needlessly destroy his life?
While I would ordinarily feel extreme frustration with an author for this open- ended conclusion, in this case, it’s exactly what makes this book a classic. Written back in 1952, the book was a little ahead of its time, although some may have only taken it at face value. Nevertheless, here we are in 2017, still talking about it, still pondering on its mysteries, analyzing, and theorizing about it, which is a testament to the author’s talent and genius.
This book was practically tailor made for my reading tastes, so naturally, it gets five big stars!!
GET YOU COPY HERE:
THE COPY I REVIEWED IS AVAILABLE IN THE OVERDRIVE LIBRARY AND BARNES & NOBLE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: