My Cousin Rachel
By Daphne Du Maurier
* a penetrating psychological study with all the haunting power of Rebecca
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?
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.
Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.
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- Publication date:
04 Aug 2011
- Page count:
She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality — Guardian
No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do — Margaret Forster
From the first page . . . the reader is back in the moody, brooding atmosphere of Rebecca — New York Times Book Review
Du Maurier is a storyteller whose sole aim is to bewitch and beguile. And in My Cousin Rachel she does both, with Rebecca looking fondly over her shoulder — New York Times
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