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My Cousin Rachel Paperback – March 1, 2009
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From Library Journal
Du Maurier was a very popular writer during her lifetime, but after she cashed in her chips in 1989, many of her books have gone out of print. This 1951 story is told by young protagonist Philip Ashley, who is cast together with Rachel, his uncle's widow, whom he comes to suspect might have played a role in the man's demise. Is Philip next?
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"IF YOU HAVE NOT HEARD, read this thing." - Books I Done Read
"A taut, well, written story that will no doubt grab you attention and not let it go until the very last page. " - A Lovely Shore Breeze
" I think it's safe to say that I was haunted by this Gothic Tale long after I finished the book. Grade A." - Musings of a Bibliophile
"Do you have books that as soon as you finished reading them, you were sorry the story ended?... My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier was such a book for me." - Reading Extravaganza
"[I]t is hard to put this story down." - Bookloons.com
"[D]efinitely entertaining and suspenseful." - We Be Reading
"A classic manor mystery in the tradition of the Brontë sisters with a modern psychological twist, My Cousin Rachel is a fine introduction to the sort of refined madness that defines Daphne du Maurier's work. " - Hipster Book Club
"In 1951, du Maurier released My Cousin Rachel and this one is, thus far in our du Maurier reading journey, A Reader's Respite's favorite... another Sourcebook's reprint and boy, are we thankful." - A Reader's Respite
"The excellent world-building and use of symbolism created a brooding, mysterious atmosphere." - Genre Reviews
"I enjoyed reading My Cousin Rachel. It was intriguing and suspenseful." - Cindy's Love of Books
"I absolutely loved and enjoyed this novel from start to finish... She is just that good." - The Literate Housewife
"The gothic atmosphere combined with the mystery of who Rachel really is, kept this reader enthralled and turning the pages quickly. " - Passages to the Past
"This is a great read that you won't want to miss if you enjoy gothic mysteries!" - S. Krishna's Books
"Filled with gothic suspense this novel will no doubt have you wondering too as to what are Rachel's real motivations and what will happen to the main characters. I throughly enjoyed this book and the characters." - The Book Girl's Nightstand
"My Cousin Rachel is a captivating Gothic story that pulses with emotion and dark undercurrents; you don't want to miss it!" - Book Review by Bobbie
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Top Customer Reviews
It is the story of a young man, Philip, 25, who has been brought up by his older, male, bachelor cousin, Ambrose. They are well-to-do and live on an estate in the Cornwall, England so beloved by Ms. du Maurier, and have a varied and busy life. Neither seems too particularly interested in women. As he gets older, Ambrose decides for health reasons that he must begin to winter in Italy, leaving Philip behind to take care of things.
Ambrose, of course, writes to Philip, and eventually tells him he has met a woman--their cousin Rachel--with whom he has fallen in love with and whom he has married. As time goes by, however, the letters become less enthusiastic. She is spending too much. He is becoming ill. He no longer trusts her or the Italian friend who seems to be hanging around her all of the time. Philip decides that he must go to Italy, but by the time he gets there, his beloved cousin is dead and buried and Rachel is nowhere to be found. Philip returns to England, disconsolate, heartbroken and angry.
Shortly thereafter he learns that Rachel is coming to pay a visit. And this is where the meat of the novel begins: although determined to get to the truth of the matter out of her, Philip instead becomes smitten.
The reason the novel works so well--indeed, the reason all of du Maurier's novels work so well--is that the characters are perfectly etched. Philip is not unintelligent and he is not uneducated. But he is 25, and he has traveled practically nowhere. The story is written in the first person by him, and although he is clearly self-confident, the reader sees how easily he is manipulated by the beautiful Rachel. She has him, as a major character points out, wrapped around her finger.
Rachel, of course, is etched through the eyes of Philip, and she is also a distinct, memorable character. Always dressed appropriately, always made up perfectly, she knows precisely how she must act with the various persons in the community in which Philip lives. They are enchanted by her, as is Philip, to whom she is alternately bewitching and standoffish.
The suspense begins when Philip learns little things about Rachel’s actions that don’t seem to fit with her overall charm. She is spending too much. He discovers additional letters from Ambrose that never made it to him previously. He is beginning to feel ill. Philip does not want to believe the implications of these things and does his best to ignore them. And then the Italian friend comes to visit.
Best not say more, except that the tension continues to build until the conclusion; a conclusion which, again typically of du Maurier, is unexpected. First-rate, page-turning fiction all the way.
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