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352 pages, ebook
First published January 1, 1951
This dark old-fashioned style mystery gives the reader plenty of clues to contemplate, some suspicious evil characters to dissect and others who's naïvety and impulsive acts will make you want to scream with frustration.....or it did me.
As for the ending....I loved it, but you'll have to decide for yourself if Rachel is innocent or guilty of a crime(s)......but IMHO
What a great classic tale!
(recommend reading with no prior knowledge going in)
Update: March 7, 2017
Lucked out (Yes!) and caught the 1954 movie version with Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland on TMC just 5 minutes in.....
Really enjoyed it, but definitely not as much as the book. The written word was more mysterious and had a stronger undercurrent of evil.....Still a good flick though.
I wondered how it could be that two people who had loved could yet have such a misconception of each other and, with a common grief, grow far apart.
“There are some women, Philip,” [Ambrose] observed, “good women very possibly, who through no fault of their own impel disaster. Whatever they touch, somehow turns to tragedy."
“She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment”
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cozy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly.
Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart.
Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet . . . might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?