Title: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Release Date: March 1, 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Classics, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Philip Ashley’s older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose’s beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear.
Now Rachel has arrived at Philip’s newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip’s grief at Ambrose’s death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose’s estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.
When Danielle at Sourcebooks Landmark offered me a copy of My Cousin Rachel to review, I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to read another gothic mystery by Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, which is a classic in the genre that I love so much.
At its core, My Cousin Rachel is a novel of obsession. It is about what happens to one person when they become consumed by another. Within its pages is the emotion, irrationality, and clouded judgment that comes with obsession. Over the course of the novel, Philip loses the ability to think clearly as he becomes more and more infatuated with Rachel. He has trouble seeing the situation around him as it really is; his feelings for Rachel cloud everything.
The question that looms over the novel, and the mystery contained within, centers on the enigmatic Rachel. Who is she and what does she want? Is she a sinister woman with malicious intentions who married Ambrose for his money and drove him to an early death? Or is she simply a woman who is followed by misfortune and is as innocent and charming as she seems? The lack of answers to these questions create a sense of unease that lingers through My Cousin Rachel.
Though it is a “classic” novel, My Cousin Rachel is not difficult to read. The pages turn quickly as the reader becomes absorbed by the novel. I was completely hooked on the story, trying to figure out what was in Rachel’s head through every twist and turn.
Thank you to Danielle at Sourcebooks for sending me this book to review!