If you are looking for a novel with mystery, gothic style, psychological suspense, My Cousin’s Rachel by Daphne Du Mauier, definitely has something to offer you in the end. I would recommend trying this if you are a fan of reading that has a hunting atmosphere. I’ve read it over a decade ago, and yet it’s still my novel of choice.
Daphne Du Maurier has a beautiful writing style that pulls you incredibly deep into the story, the lives of the people within, and the very setting in which it takes place.
It is full of hints and hunches you don’t fully understand when you read it for the first time, but they are so teasing – you really, really want to know.
The story is narrated from Philip’s perspective, which I found quite interesting though my favourite character would be the main mysterious one, Rachel.
The rollercoaster of feelings and emotions that you’re on throughout the book is only a part of its charm. There’s also the suspense that is always a part of every page, every event. You’re always wondering just what will happen next.
The ending, though I did find plenty of surprises in the plot, was not quite satisfactory for me. And I still have no clue whether some of my predictions and assumptions are true or not. Maybe this is what a suspense novel gives for.It creates a hunting, untrustworthy environment better than any isolated incident ever could.
When you read mysteries, do you need to find out the truth, or do you not mind a little ambiguity in the end?
Here’s the plot…
Philip Ashley has been raised by his somewhat eccentric uncle Ambrose. Firmly determined to never marry, Ambrose only wishes to spend the rest of his life on his estate with Philip, who is to be his heir, and with no women to try and mess with their bachelor lifestyle.
But a trip to Florence suddenly changes everything. The first letters Ambrose writes back home talk about him meeting their mysterious cousin Rachel, falling in love with her and getting married.
But then the letters become more and more sinister, eventually inviting Philip to come and help. By the time Philip reaches Florence, his uncle is dead and there’s more than one mystery to be solved.
And now Ambrose’s mysterious widow is expected at the Ashley’s large estate in Cornwall. Grief-stricken and barely knowing anything about her, Philip has one desire and one desire only – to make the woman pay for whatever has happened to his uncle…