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Glassblowing, of course, is an apt metaphor for the Revolution itself. “Contr...more
In this book du Maurier recounts the tale of her forebears, the Busson family of master glass-blowers leading up to and through the French Revolution. Told through the POV of Sophie as she looks back on her life, daughter of master glass-blower Mathurin Busson and his formidable (in a good way) wife Magdaleine and her siblings Robert, Pierre, Michel and Edmé. For Robert, the eldest working his craft in the countryside is not enough a...more
ONE DAY IN THE June of 1984 Madame Sophie Duval, nee Buson, eighty years of age and mother of the mayor of Vibraye, a small commune in the department of Sarthe, rose from her chair in the salon of the property at le Gue de hall, and calling to her dog made her way, as was her custom at this hour of the afternoon every Tuesday, down the short approach drive to the entrance gate.
I found the history itself more interesting than the characters, which seems to be a bad trend I'm finding myself in right now with the books I've been reading. The first part of the story actu...more
Sophie, the woma...more
I read Daphne du Maurier for the escapism it offers but this one failed to engage me and looking back now, I know precisely why: the story is being recounted in the form of a memoir, except that although in the prologue there is a subtle clue to this being the case, I quickly forgot that and so the deeeper I read, the less the 'tell' style of story-telling involved me. From my point of view, it would have succeeded better had we been reminded of the fact between the prologue and the epilogue, so...more
The story starts with Sophie's mother getting married in the 1770s in rural France, where the glass blowers are situated beside the forests that provide the fuel for the furnaces.
Sophie herself gets married in 1788 in a joint wedding with her younger sister. It...more
Daphne du Maurier ventured into family history with Mary Anne and she did it again in this work. Whereas Mary Anne is a fictionalised account of the life of her English great-great-grandmother Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the Duke of York, this novel touches on the story of du Maurier's French ancestor Robert Busson, a master glass maker who emigrated to England around the time of the French Revolution in order to avoid imprisonment for debt. In England he styled himself "du Maurier" (after...more
If you're reading this and it sounds familiar, I invite you to SUCK IT.
The story is good, but I found it was loss in too much detail and asides. If this book had been ruthlessly edited it would have been much better.
One for the Daphne du Maurier (or history) fans rather than the general reader.
In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles that of a fairy tale. Born int...more