MY COUSIN RACHEL, Daphne DuMaurier
story takes place in the 1840s in Cornwall. Philip's whole life centers
around his Uncle Ambrose, his guardian, and their life in the country.
When Ambrose begins to suffer health problems, he goes to Italy where he
falls under the spell of Cousin Rachel. His letters home to Philip
begin as odes of love but over time become dark. When he suddenly dies,
Philip goes to Florence to ascertain the reasons for his death.
suspicious of Cousin Rachel, Philip soon falls under her spell and alters
his inheritance to make her the primary beneficiary of his uncle's
estate. It is unclear for much of the book as he goes from complete
suspicion, to devotion, to suspicion again whether he is falling ill
from the same brain fever or disease that took his uncle or whether
Rachel has a hand in both of their fates. (Much of her time is spent
fooling with herbs and medicinal plants).
Is this a book about
jealousy, disease or evil? I think you will come to your own conclusion
by the end, but it may not be the same as mine.
This is a masterpiece of suspense. The type of book you will think about for many days following its ending.