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My Cousin Rachel (VMC) Paperback – 1 May 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844080404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844080403
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daphne du Maurier was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier. Educated at home and later in Paris, she began writing short stories and articles in 1928, and in 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. Rebecca made her one of the most popular authors of her day. Many of her bestselling novels became award-winning films. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books. She died in 1989.

Product Description

Review

In the same category as REBECCA, but an even more consummate piece of storytelling (GUARDIAN)

From the first page . . . the reader is back in the moody, brooding atmosphere of Rebecca (NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW)

Book Description

* a penetrating psychological study with all the haunting power of Rebecca

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tamara on 30 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
I totally disagree with the last reviewer. No twist in the tale? a straightforward story?
I wonder if we have been reading the same book?
The way I understand it, the whole point of this book IS in its ending and its 'twist in the tale', which throws all your expectations up in the air, and leaves you at the end with a feeling of 'was she bad? Or was she good? Who was right and who was wrong?" It is the cleverness of Daphne du Maurier that it turns the whole story on its head and makes you reasess it at the end.
I personally found it much better than Rebecca which I think is a bit overrated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
There are some books which you finish and feel a mixture of utter joy that you read something so wonderful, swiftly followed by that lurch in your chest when you realise that these books come few and far between and that you won't have this exact experience ever again, even if you were to re-read the book from the start... something which you invariably want to do in these situations. This was the exact set of feelings that I had after I had read the very last line, and oh what a closer it was too (no spoilers coming though I promise), of `My Cousin Rachel' by Daphne Du Maurier.

Philip Ashley is the narrator of `My Cousin Rachel' he is a rather naïve young man who has grown up under the care of his elder cousin Ambrose, who owns a large estate, and has become like a mixture of father, brother and best friend. He is also being lined up as Ambrose's heir and replacement as manager of the estate which often means when Ambrose has to go away to avoid the winters Philip is left in charge. On one such trip to Italy Ambrose writes to Philip that he has met `our cousin Rachel' a woman who slowly looms larger in letters before Ambrose announces they have married, only soon after Ambrose suddenly dies after sending Philip some much more ominous correspondence and soon Rachel herself descends upon Philip's life.

The story so far does sound a relatively simple one; however I have only really given you the gist of the very first parts of the book. As it goes on, and what sets it apart, the psychological intensity Du Maurier weaves through the pages along with the constant sense that she could pull the rug from under you at any given moment is incredible.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lily Lit on 3 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was anxious as I came to this book after Rebecca and Jamacia Inn. I was afraid that those are the two I had heard the most about that it meant that the rest of Du Maurier's work was not as good. However, I have found that since to be not at all the case. I cannot help comparing Du Maurier with the man who considered her writing one of his greatest inspirations - Alfred Hitchcock and in reading this book you can very much sense why he delighted in her as a writer. The suspense builds and builds, there are twists and turns and you are never completely sure what way the story will lead. You feel the ambiguity of emotions that the narrator has in regards to his Cousin and you are left wondering as is he, how it will all turn out. I would very much recommend that fans of Rebecca and Jamacia Inn do not give up there. Du Maurier wrote in a way in which each of her books hold their own and will engage you, what scholars consider a mediocre Du Maurier still would hold its own against many five star modern classics of today.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By AMD76 on 13 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a love story, I'm afraid you're not going to find it here. If, however, you're looking for a fast moving plot and plenty of suspense then this is the book for you.
The dark, mysterious atmosphere in My Cousin Rachel is very similar to that of Rebecca. The reader is held in anxious anticipation until the very last page and yet again du Maurier delivers a surprising twist that still leaves you wondering...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great page-turner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miss E. Potten on 20 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has been sitting unread on my shelves for years - ever since I saw a theatre adaptation in my early teens - and I have no idea why. This is du Maurier at her best: a gloomy house filled with the bitter secrets of an enigmatic woman; the briny scent of the Cornish sea air; a tormented man seeking love... Oh, wait, does this sound familiar? Perhaps that's one of the reasons it took me so long to read it - although it's beautifully written and completely brilliant, it is basically a not-quite-as-good version of Rebecca. Where 'Rebecca' was impossible to put down, sent chills down the reader's spine and was deeply rooted on the Cornish coast, 'My Cousin Rachel' takes longer to work up to its denouement, invites more questioning and pondering from the steady reader, and spreads its wings to encompass a good dose of Italian influence.

It is narrated, not by an innocent damsel, but by young Philip Ashley, who inherits a sizeable estate when his beloved cousin Ambrose dies during an extended stay in Italy. In his feverish letters to Philip prior to his death, he implicates his new wife - Philip's cousin Rachel - in his illness. So when Rachel arrives in England to visit the estate and her young cousin, Philip expects a black widow and is completely unprepared for how he feels as he gets to know this beautiful, exotic woman. But all may not be as it seems, and Philip is determined to find out the truth once and for all before he becomes a victim in turn.

This is really an incredibly complex novel that, for me, is a cross between 'Rebecca' - which I adored - and 'Madame Bovary', which I didn't like nearly as much in itself, but which was a really fascinating read in terms of its exposure of contemporary social conventions and the status of women in society.
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