Friday, 5 July 2013

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

From Amazon

I threw the piece of paper on the fire. She saw it burn . . .
Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly.
In almost no time at all, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to the flame. And yet . . . might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?

My thoughts.
Whilst I did struggle with the first 40 pages or so, once I did get into the story I found it unputdownable. I felt that Philip was very naive and was blinkered towards cousin Rachel, despite his initial thoughts on her.

She reminded me of a black widow in so much as she appeared to be after men for their money. Did she or didn't she? All the pointers were there but did she poison her husband Ambrose or not. We never found out the circumstances surrounding the death of her first husband and it does make you wonder whether she worked her magic on him too.

I found her writing to be much more atmospheric than Susan Hill's gothic style tales. Quite a lot of it was dialogue driven but the descriptive narrative did set the scene nicely.

I had no sympathy at all for cousin Rachel as she was such a schemer, my sympathies lay with Louise Kendall, Philip's Godfathers daughter as she was obviously forsaken once cousin Rachel came on the scene. There seemed to be an unwritten relationship between her and Philip prior to cousin Rachel's arrival.

I'll definitely be looking for more books by Du Maurier and I must look out for my copy of Rebecca that's hiding somewhere.

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