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My Cousin Rachel (VMC) [Paperback]

Daphne Du Maurier , Sally Beauman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 May 2003 VMC (Book 265)

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?

Frequently Bought Together

My Cousin Rachel (VMC) + Frenchman's Creek (VMC) + Jamaica Inn (VMC)
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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: 12.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,662 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


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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 30 Sep 2007
By Tamara
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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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the very first page I was hooked. 13 Jan 2004
By AMD76
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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Page turning Maurier 11 Nov 2000
By A Customer
I read this book after Jamaica Inn and Rebecca and whilst it is not as good as Jamaica Inn is certainly an exciting page turner.
The book is told in the first person by the rather priggish (to start with anyway) Philip Ashley who has been brought up as a member of the Cornish gentry by his elder cousin Ambrose. His devotion to Ambrose and complete disinterest in women allows for a subtle gay undercurrent to run through the books earlier chapters.
However, Ambrose travels to Florence (for health reasons) and there he marries the mysterious Rachel. When he dies unexpextedly Philip blames this woman for his death.
As Ambrose never revised his will Philip is left everything and Rachel soon comes to Cornwall to visit him. Philip does not want to meet her but when he does finds himself warming to her. The reader can see that he is falling in love with her, but Philip does not realise this until he is completely under her spell. Rachel has her detractors but Philip will not listen to them.
With the two of them living alone under the same room their relationship is slow burning but intense. Through Philip we gradually learn more about Rachel but he is unwilling to question any of her actions.
To say anymore would be to ruin the surprise of whether or not she is a black widow or not - or even if it is that simple.
I won't ruin the story for you but you will find yourself reading this book over the cooker, in the bath and during Emmerdale in order to get to the last page.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 12 Jun 2005
After reading Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" and "Frenchman's Creek" and enjoying them both immensely, I decided to read "My Cousin Rachel". Within its pages I found a tender and touching story that has given me a significant volume to think about. This novel follows Philip Ashley, a young upper-class man who was brought up by his older cousin Ambrose in (like in the majority of du Maurier's novels) a grand house in Cornwall. As ever, du Maurier's intricately chosen words perfectly let the reader in on Philip's jealousy as Ambrose travels to Florence and marries the woman honoured in the title, Rachel, and his further feelings of anguish and spite towards her when she arrives in Cornwall following the premature death of Ambrose, believing Rachel to be at fault for his cousin's death. However, Philip's instinct gradually ebbs away as he becomes ever more obsessed with Rachel, and du Maurier effectively manages to stir up emotions in the reader as he loses sight of how possessive he becomes. If I had to compare this steady rise in tension from the beginning of the novel with anything, it would probably be the play "A View From the Bridge" by Arthur Miller: although I did not realise this until I had finished the book, everything in the novel seems to build up to the shocking finale.
I would not class "My Cousin Rachel" as a romance, but ultimately it is a heart-wrenching tale of love, longing and tragedy which is intelligently structured and will remain in the reader's thoughts for some time upon completion of the novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Rebecca but stands alone 3 Jan 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My Cousin Rachel
This is a psychological drama with lots of twists and turns. I found it difficult to put down and definitely recommend it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Thera
5.0 out of 5 stars Great atmospheric book
Read this book many years ago and it still can hold the reader spellbound. Young boy is orphaned during Napoleonic wars and is brought up in an all male household by his cousin... Read more
Published 2 months ago by chiefchuckles
3.0 out of 5 stars Intreguing
An enjoyable read with plenty to keep you guessing. I have given it 3 stars as I did not enjoy it as much as two other of her books, namely Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek.
Published 3 months ago by Mr G. Pinner
5.0 out of 5 stars Still gripping
Still a wonderful read. Long time since I read this old classic excellent. Did she didn't she? One of her best.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs RE Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book of all time!!
Such a fab read!! Definitely recommend it...It probably is a tad more suited to the female audience but it's still a cracking read for anyone who wants to read it :)
Published 5 months ago by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
I always like D du Maurier's books so this was enjoyable. Once I started to read it, I couldn't put it down.
Published 5 months ago by Hilson N Hatley
5.0 out of 5 stars What a classic
Really enjoyed this classic novel. Shame that there s not other authours like her around these days. Greatly enjoyed thats for sure
Published 5 months ago by bluemax
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting as always
Don't know what it is about Du Maurier's characters that get right into your head and set up home, never to leave again. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mystic
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Readable
I found this book very readable, did not find the characters very engaging or entirely easy to relate to, but there is a lot going on in terms of plot to maintain interest. Read more
Published 5 months ago by r m moreira
5.0 out of 5 stars An obvious classis
Keeps you guessing all the way. Thanks Daphne for this treat!
Nine more words required,,, don't have any more sorry!
Published 6 months ago by ruthr
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