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“Did she or didn't she? That's the question at the center of the novel, and it's one that Du Maurier never fully addresses. Naive Phillip Ashley narrates the story of how he falls in love with his cousin's widow, a mysterious woman named Rachel. This is well written, quality brain candy. I...”see full review » see other reviews »
“27 6/2/13 It was very good. Interesting and fantastically well written. Just a great story arc that leaves you wanting to know more.”kala_way wrote this review Monday, September 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A study in ambiguity.”CLAUDIA NICHOLS wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Orphaned at a young age, Philip Ashley was left in the care of his cousin, Ambrose. Ambrose is an eternal bachelor it seems and the two of them live in a big house in Cornwall surrounded by male servants. Women would want things a certain way and with all men around they get to do what they want. Philip likes life this way and cannot imagine having a woman around, mucking things up. However, as Ambrose gets older and the cold and wet English weather gets to him and causes him to be increasingly ill, the doctor recommends he travel abroad to warmer climates. And while away in Italy he does what his cousin Philip had believed was all but impossible: he meets, falls in love with and marries a woman named Rachel.
Philip is immediately jealous of this woman he does not know. For his entire life that he can remember it has been just he and Ambrose. And that’s how he wanted it to stay. At first the Ambrose is overjoyed and writes of them coming home soon and them living happily together in their house. Then, Ambrose’s letters become scattered and disoriented. He speaks oddly and mentions that perhaps Rachel is not to be trusted. Finally, Philip makes up his mind to go to Italy to retrieve his cousin, fearing he has come to harm, but by the time he arrives it is too late. Ambrose is dead, succumb to an illness, and his wife has left the estate. Heartbroken, Philip returns to his home in Cornwall to grieve, only to find out that the woman who he blames for his best friend’s death is to be visiting soon. But it is perfect! He’ll make her admit to everything. He’ll make her pay for Ambrose’s death. But when she arrives...she’s not want he had expected at all. She is so nice and warm, so easy to talk to. He’s never connected with anyone like this before. So is she guilty or not?
This is the second du Maurier novel I have read (the first being Rebecca which I loved) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is an eerie romantic atmosphere surrounding the entire book. You never know quite how to feel about any character. At times I hated Rachel just as much as Philip did, then I started wondering, just like he did, was she guilty? And with Philip too, my feelings went back and forth. He was in many ways a typical 20-something-year-old boy, with all the frustrations that go along with it. Some of the decisions he made had me yelling right at the pages I was reading. But du Maurier did a great job setting up this mystery. And still, at the end you’re not quite sure what to think. Any du Maurier fan would be more than happy with this one.”
“At the beginning, I wasn't certain that I was going to enjoy this book because I didn't immediately warm to the characters. To me, Philip seemed weak and watery. However, as I read further, they grew on me and I ended up finding this an enjoyable read.”Mrs Goddard wrote this review Wednesday, August 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This has all the hallmarks of Du Maurier - the Cornish setting, the beautiful, mysterious woman, and the threads of jealousy, suspicion and madness that run throughout the work. Often unfairly dismissed as sensationalist and a writer of pulp, Du Maurier writes atmosphere and suspense like no other author I know. Her narrators are never trustworthy - but reading beyond the printed word in a pleasure in a novel as rich and well-written as this one.”Carys wrote this review Saturday, November 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“recommended on blog....same authoress as Rebecca”Lenore C wrote this review Sunday, October 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Sheer wonder of my favourite author”Zoe Williamson wrote this review Thursday, August 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Intriguing. The ending leaves you wondering. I would be interested in what others thought about the motives of Rachel.”Rita A Gilbert wrote this review Sunday, July 29, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What a tale of seduction! What a great mystery! This novel is a lesson about the power of suggestion versus the explicit. The ending is designed to contest everything the reader has learned about Rachel. Absolutely absorbing. ”Martha W wrote this review Monday, July 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really liked the book but as I was listening to it. I missed something in the ending. So I am ordering the book so I can read the first & last paragraph of the book. I don't like books that leave you up in the air like it did.”Mikie wrote this review Thursday, June 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No