My Cousin Rachel – Daphne Du Maurier

I confess I hadn’t heard of My Cousin Rachel until I saw a trailer for the recent film when I was at the cinema, and as it looked good I decided to read it before watching the film.

This mystery novel tells the story of Philip Ashley, who after the death of his parents is brought up by his cousin Ambrose. He and Ambrose get on splendidly, so when Ambrose goes to Italy and ends up marrying while he is there, Philip feels a little jealous and lonely. Ambrose’s letters start to become more strange, and suggest that his new wife Rachel is not to be trusted, so when Rachel turns up in Cornwall after Ambrose’s death, Philip is initially determined to discover the truth, but Rachel’s charms are too overwhelming for him.

I’d previously read two of Du Maurier’s other novels, Rebecca which I loved, and Jamaica Inn which I didn’t enjoy as much, but I thoroughly enjoyed My Cousin Rachel. I love that the novel never reveals whether Rachel is guilty or not and lets the reader decide for themselves. The writing is gripping and extremely clever to keep you guessing throughout.

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