Review: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier




My Cousin Rachel
by Daphne Du Maurier

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Orphaned at 18 months, Philip Ashley is taken in and raised by his cousin, the consummate bachelor, Ambrose. Their relationship is a close one as they share not only looks, but emotions and mannerisms as well.

Ambrose travels to Italy one summer, leaving Philip to watch over the house. Letter writing is how they keep in touch and it's the information written within these letters that carries the story. Ambrose writes to tell Philip that he has met his cousin Rachel, soon followed by another letter stating that they are now married and not long after that the letters become mysterious and full of paranoia - Ambrose has been suffering an unknown illness and seems to think his new wife is trying to poison him. Philip decides to go to Ambrose in Italy and find out for himself what is really going on. But when he gets there he finds that Ambrose has been dead for two weeks and cousin Rachel had already fled the villa. Convinced that Rachel killed Ambrose and makes a promise to himself to make her pay.

Back in England, Rachel shows up at Philip's manor unexpectedly. His mind is already made up to hate her, however when they meet his image of her is thrown right out the door. She's charming and dainty and sweet - she bewitches Philip from the start. She can't possibly have had anything to do with Ambrose's death. Or can she?

My Cousin Rachel explores the complicated mind of a woman and the men who try to decipher it. Du Maurier's writing flows very well and the pace is fluid throughout. The gothic atmosphere combined with the mystery of who Rachel really is, kept this reader enthralled and turning the pages quickly.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for giving me the opportunity to read such a wonderful novel!



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13 comments:

  1. I just posted my review, too. I loved this novel and can't wait to get my hands on the movie version with Olivia DeHaviland. Can you imagine Melanie Wilkes playing Mrs. Ashley? Excellent! :)

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  2. I just love Du Maurier, she really leaves you guessing what really happened at the end of this one. I'm saving Rebecca for last though.

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  3. Lovely review. This sounds like a great book :)

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  4. Great review! This sounds so interesting; especially with the "mystery" and "gothic atmostphere"! I have read/heard so many good things on Daphne Du Maurier and I have yet to read one of her novel!

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  5. P.S.
    You have some awards:
    http://anotherbookblogwhore.blogspot.com/2009/05/blog-awards-yay.html

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  6. I just love Miss Daphne's books. This and Frenchman's Creek is on my list for this summer! Have you read Jamica Inn? It's such a goodie! Great Review.

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  7. Love Daphne's gothic atmosphere.
    I'm adding this to my list. Thanks!

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  8. I really need to read something by Daphne. I say that all the time, though and still haven't got around to it! Glad you liked this one. :)

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  9. I'm shortly about to start this book that I won from you. Thanks for the preview!
    Happy Weekend!
    Kirsten

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  10. I've read this book a few times and I can never work Rachel out! The gothic atmosphere and characterisation in Daphne's books is wonderful.

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  11. Great Review. I just gotta read this.!!

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  12. I love this book - it is my second favorite to Rebecca by Du Maurier. Has anyone found the movie version? I have always wanted to watch it!

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