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My Cousin Rachel Paperback – Mar 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Akadine Pr (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585790370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585790371
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,821,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Review

³From the first page . . . the reader is back in the moody, brooding atmosphere of Rebecca² -- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading the rather verbose Jamaica Inn, I found My Cousin Rachel so much better. However, I was disappointed in the conclusion. I love an ironic ending but this one just doesn't work. After 350+ pages, we are so invested in the mystery and then the conclusion leaves us with a question. Also, I would've liked Louise to be a more prominent character in the story--a perceptive young woman who is underestimated by most around her. If you like DuMaurier's books, I recommend her short story collection "Don't Look Now and other Stories". She really was a master storyteller, which her short stories demonstrate the most.
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Format: Paperback
I heard Daphne Du Maurier equated with gothic mystery. "My Cousin Rachel" is my introduction. It comes across as general fiction, a slow pace. A simmering plot is a sound technique but it wasn't offset by a burst of events, except too late to propel the novel as a thriller. There was no reward of full disclosure, which is called for in a story that doesn't abound with action. The introduction sets up something more macabre than most of the story contains.

An Englishman is groomed to take over his Great-Uncle's estate, after whom he was named. Philip loves Truro, Cornwall and is content overseeing Ashley caretaking and crops. His Great-Uncle's son, Ambrose, raised him since his parents' early passing. Daphne instils us with this relationship exceedingly well. We feel how dearly they are son and Dad. With Ambrose's doctor advising dry weather abroad, Philip is already managing their enterprises. Readers understand this is home and Philip's rightful place, well before Ambrose writes about illness and concern over a new marriage. The author shows psychology so well, we don't consider Philip's and his friend Louise's suspicions farfetched. We are on board their questions about Rachel Ashley.

A tone of intrigue enters when Philip takes Ambrose seriously and sails to Florence, as fast as mid-1800s transportation can convey him. We embark on a proper mystery investigation and are excited to know what Philip will discover, whom he will see. Other than the anticipation of acquainting Rachel at his home shortly after, I hoped for a great deal more suspense. The novel becomes a portrait of obsessive anxiety, amidst months of pleasant discourse. There was no fear or hurry, until the final few chapters. Had this title not been wound up as a hair-raising mystery, I would rate its literary prowess highly.
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Format: Paperback
This book (and the 1952 film, with Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton) have haunted me since I first read the book over 20 years ago. It's a mesmerizing and artful tour de force, building high atmosphere, suspense and intrigue - and using relentless ambiguity. Du Maurier (12 or 13 years after "Rebecca" - and in my opinion the added maturity shows in more complex characters, circumstances and moral nuances) masterfully spins her tale, weaving in vivid images of a warm and fertile Italy contrasted against those of a cool green England with an economy of description. A naive young man (Philip) in his early twenties, raised by and adoring of his bachelor uncle (Ambrose), is plunged into suspicion on news that his beloved uncle has suddenly and mysteriously died abroad soon after marrying a previously unknown cousin (you guessed it - Rachel) in Florence. Ghastly fantasies mount as Philip awaits Rachel's arrival in England. But she turns out to be a worldly woman of unanticipated charms, who turns young Philip's head entirely. Is she a villainous murderess? Or merely a world-wise woman torn by affection for a dashing much younger man, bearing a marked resemblance to her husband of so few months? Delicious issues are raised, including what are the moral constraints of a woman in a world which allows her few ways to financial freedom. Does the fact that a woman understands finance necessarily mean that she doesn't love a rich husband? Is an Italian woman with a mastery of healing herbs necessarily a poisoner? Can a world-wise woman who has long since lost her innocence nonetheless be captivated by the dewy youthfulness of a young man? And, as with all du Maurier, all of the events occur in lush and beautifully described surrounding events and places. I'm a big reader, and this is one of my big favorites!
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Format: Paperback
dapne du maurier's books--all seem to gave tragic shades to them. we see through only phillips eyes--it is his feelings about racheal that form our own. we are curoius about racheal-and when she does arrive in england-we accept her as does phillip. it is not till, he reads the letter from ambrose is he doubtful of her-and not till she plans to leave for italy does suspision root it self firmly in his mind and ours.but phillip is only 25--an age which younge men often let emotions control them---which leads to the tragic end. the queations one asks at the end are -was racheal innocent? we may feel that she was "good"-and phillip himself is not sure if his suspisions were well founded--but the thing is can we be sure?--as this books shows-suspision is indeed the cancer of the mind.
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Format: Paperback
I have read several books by Daphne DuMaurier, and My Cousin Rachel is my favorite. This novel is not light reading, but it is intensely gripping in all of its twists and turns. It is truly a work of art. It has an unusual ending. I don't care for reviews that give the plot away, but I just want to say this; at the end the reader is left to make up his or her own mind as to whether Rachel was good or evil. I chose to come to the conclusion that she was good. Other readers may have reached a different conclusion. My Cousin Rachel is an outstanding piece of literary achievement! The movie was very good although it did not do the book full justice. I thought that Olivia DeHavilland was perfectly cast as Rachel.
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