My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

11300065Title: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published by: Victor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date: 1951 
Read: June 24 - June 28 2017
Genre: Mystery Thriller; Classic
Pages: 351
Mareli's rating: 5 stars
Recommend to: If you can read, you have to read Daphne du Maurier's books. They don't come like this anymore.
Description: 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. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart.Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet... might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death? Goodreads

From the Queen of opening lines - 

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

Comes another one-line wonder 

They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days.

Ever since reading that first line, every little essence of my being became brooding, suspicious and doubtful. Just like Ambrose and Philip, I was captivated by cousin Rachel. 

My Cousin Rachel was first published in 1951 by Victor Gollancz and how lucky am I to have been able to read a first edition! 

Daphne du Maurier got her inspiration for this novel from a painting of Rachel Carew that she saw at Antony House in Cornwall. 

Philip Ashley was raised by his cousin, Ambrose Ashley, the owner of a large country estate on the Cornish coast. Ever since Ambrose sent Philip's nanny packing when he was three years old, he only employed menservants and the tribe was controlled by old Seecombe.

Antony House
Life was good, apart from a few health problems that forced Ambrose to spend the winters in warmer climate. Ambrose chooses Italy for his summer home. Philip misses Ambrose dearly, but luckily he receives frequent letters from him. Ambrose writes that he has met a cousin of theirs (no more detail than that is provided), Rachel, and in the spring Philip is informed of the news that Ambrose and Rachel got married. Gradually, the tone of Ambrose's letters changes. He complaints a lot and some of his letters are a bit incoherent with a few disturbing accusations. 

A concerned Philip travels to Italy and reaches the villa Sangalletti where he learns that Ambrose is dead and that Rachel has left the villa. Philip is heartbroken for his cousin and swears that he will find Rachel and take his revenge on her. Two weeks after his return to Cornwall, his godfather, who is the current guardian of the estate, informs him that Rachel has arrived by boat in Plymouth.

More than that, I do not wish to disclose. That is for you to read. And to decide. Did she? or Did she not?

"There are some women Phillip, good women very possibly, who through no fault of their own, impel disaster. Whatever they touch, somehow turns to tragedy".

Related image Image result for quotes from my cousin rachel
My tutor told us once that truth was something intangible, unseen, that sometimes we stumbled upon and did not recognize, but was found, and held, and understood only by old people near their death, or sometimes by the very pure, the very young.
If you really don't want to read the book (although it will be such a shame), you can watch the 2017 release of Fox Searchlight Pictures' adaptation of the novel, starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. OR the 1952 movie by Twentieth Century-Fox starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton.

My Cousin Rachel (2017 film).pngRachel moviep.jpg

 There are a number of great reviews on the bloggosphere and on the World Wide Web of My Cousin Rachel. All are worth the read, but I will recommend you read A brief moment of Narcissism: a review of My Cousin Rachel by Definitely not for the Birds. 

Last but not least - a very big Thank You to Katherine @ I wish I lived in a Library for joining me for this read-together. Please have a look at her review as well. This was great fun and it kept me motivated to make sure the book gets read. 

What do we read next Katherine? Any other suggestions for read-togethers?



  1. Great review, I like the quotes you used here. I have this on my list to read this year. I am visiting from Katherine's site, happy to meet you!

    1. Hi Tina! Thank you so much, that is very kind of you. I agree with Katherine, if you've read Rebecca and you enjoyed it, do give this one a try. It won't disappoint you.

      Thanks for the visit and good to meet you too!

  2. Amazing review, and I am DYING to read this book!! I love Gothic classics and this sounds brilliant. I'm also SO excited for the movie - I love Rachel Weisz :)
    Glad you loved it!

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. Hallo! Thank you! I really enjoyed this book. Daphne du Maurier knew how to write a good Gothic novel. Hope you get to read it soon and let me know!!

      YES!!!! I also can't wait for the movie and Rachel as Rachel... Love her too.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend.

  3. I’m glad you liked this book because I just bought it. Hopefully I get a chance to read it soon. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Aaaah - great! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please let me know? Thanks for your kind words.... I really appreciate it.

  4. Glad you enjoyed it too! I really want to see the Olivia de Havilland movie now. I can see her making a perfect Rachel. Now off to think of our next read. I'm thinking maybe a little lighter but haven't decided on what exactly that means just yet!

    1. I've asked my husband to see if he can get it for me to watch! I also want to see it. I think Richard Burton would also be a good Philip. All that over exaggerated passion....

      Can't wait to see what you come up with for the next read-together!

  5. I just saw the trailer for the upcoming movie and it made me want to pick this book up. But your review has just sealed the deal! This seems like a book that would be right up my alley - creepy, suspenseful, and mysterious. Thanks for sharing this great review!
    Lauren @ Bookgirl Secrets


Post a Comment

I love talking to you - I always Thalk back!

Popular posts from this blog

King Solomon's mines - H. Rider Haggard

The Sunday Post

Recipes for Love and Murder - Sally Andrew