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My Cousin Rachel (VMC) Paperback – 1 May 2003


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My Cousin Rachel (VMC) + Frenchman's Creek (VMC) + The House On The Strand (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: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,328 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

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tamara on 30 Sep 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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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 Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 May 2009
Format: Paperback
That is the question that will keep readers on the edge of their seat until the final twist on the very last pages. Phillip Ashley was orphaned at a young age and raised in 19C Cornwall by his older cousin Ambrose. Health issues force Ambrose to spend time in warmer climates and he meets and marries a distant cousin Rachel, the widowed Countess Sangaletti. A cryptic note arrives from Ambrose hinting at being poisoned and Phillip heads to Florence to find Ambrose dead of a brain tumor (so the doctors say.....) and Rachel disappeared, with Rainaldi her close friend and "financial advisor" handling her affairs.

Phillip heads home and as rightful heir takes over running the family estate, but constantly broods on his hatred of Rachel and builds an image of her that is completely different when he comes face to face with her. Instead of the murdering she-devil he's built up in his mind, Phillip doesn't quite know what to make of this tiny, elegant and very enigmatic cousin of his. Rachel weaves herself into the lives of Phillip making herself indispensable to the household until Phillip finally finds himself in love with her and forgets his prior suspicions. Phillip realizes his majority at his 25th birthday and he presents Rachel with what Ambrose would have willed to her if he had lived long enough to sign a new will. At that point everything changes between Rachel and Phillip and .........

Well I'm not going to tell you, read it for yourself. This was a fabulous read that had me gripped from the very first page and kept me guessing until the very end (actually she still keeps you guessing but you have to read it for yourself to find out why). There's a good reason Du Maurier is considered the master of romantic suspense. Highly highly recommended. 5/5 stars.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By J. McKay on 12 Jun 2005
Format: Paperback
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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