My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published by: Victor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date: 1951
Read: June 24 - June 28 2017
Genre: Mystery Thriller; Classic
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 -
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.
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".
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.
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?