My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Rating: Very Good
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?
Genre: Mystery - Classic
Why I Picked This Book: This book has been on my wishlist for years so when Mareli from Mareli Thalk ink suggested doing a joint review I couldn't resist. Go visit her here to see her thoughts.
My Impression: I was a little nervous going into this one. I loved Rebecca and adored her short story collection featuring The Birds (which the Hitchcock movie was very loosely based) but Frenchman's Creek and I were not friends. This story was more in the vein of Rebecca with all the creepy atmosphere and characters of questionable moments. Needless to say I was hooked pretty quick!
The story opens with Philip Ashley reminiscing about walking with his cousin and coming across the corpse of a man that had been hanged for murder. The scene disturbed him more than he'd like to admit and while not graphic starts the book off with an unsettling feel that doesn't let up until the end.
This wasn't a flawless read. I felt like it got a little slow in the middle and Philip had times when he needed to stop being an idiot blinded by love or not. However, du Maurier's writing style pulls the reader in. It just feels like something is going to happen and I didn't want to put the book down until it did! The ending is somewhat ambiguous in true du Maurier habit and it's left to the reader to determine guilt or innocence, angel or devil.
I'm not sure this book replaces Rebecca as my favorite du Maurier read but I definitely won't be nervous next time I pick up a Daphne du Maurier novel.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author: Absolutely! I've been neglecting du Maurier for far too long!
Would I Recommend this Book? Definitely! If you enjoy Gothic mysteries or loved Rebecca I think you'd really enjoy this one.