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My Cousin Rachel

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  50,855 ratings  ·  5,537 reviews
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 cosy 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. Je ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published December 17th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1951)
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Joanne Sheppard You're not supposed to know - the idea is that you make up your own mind. I think the important thing is to remember through whose eyes we're viewing …moreYou're not supposed to know - the idea is that you make up your own mind. I think the important thing is to remember through whose eyes we're viewing Rachel, and what his mental state might be.(less)
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WOW! I liked MY COUSIN RACHEL even better than REBECCA!

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 (view spoiler)

Merphy Napier
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, adult, classics
du Maurier's ability to write an settling story, coupled with her haunting prose is one of my favorite things. I could see how some might call this story boring, it's very slow - BUT, to me the slow moving mystery, disturbing characters, and hints that made me flip back and forth between who I suspected... I loved it so much. Then you have du Mourier's ability to write an ending that both doesn't say enough, and says just enough to make me SURE I know what happened. (view spoiler) ...more
Elyse  Walters
I started reading Daphne du Maurier just this year.....a 2017 *du Maurier* newbie!
The first book I read was "The Scapegoat", then "Rebecca", then "The Flight of the Falcon".....and this morning I finished "My Cousin Rachel".

"My Cousin Rachel", is Daphne du Maurier's 3rd highest rated book.
"Rebecca" is rated as the #1 popular favorite-- followed by "Jamaica Inn" as the #2 most popular.

I won't be surprised with a new movie of "My Cousin Rachel", soon, if this book takes the #2 popular spot soo
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier is a 1952 publication. This version is the 2013 Little, Brown and Company publication.

A scathingly wicked masterpiece-

This book has a very heavy atmospheric quality that drew me in right from the start. In fact, I was so transfixed, I put aside everything else and gave myself over to its allure.

Phillip Ashley was raised by his cousin, Ambrose, a confirmed bachelor. They are content with their arrangement, and with Phillip’s role as heir to Ambrose’s legacy
Daphne Du Maurier is a master of atmosphere.
Reading her story was like staring through a clouded window, she planted uncertainty in your heart, and it gradually grew and blossomed.

With the opening chapter, Daphne Du Maurier transported you to her world with not much more than a dozen pages. She whisked you away, and suddenly you were there, standing in that pensive silence.

Ah, How youth is impulsive and foolish.
The ebb and flow of the murky water.
The poisonous enchantment.

After Rebecca, my ex
Lisa of Troy
May 18, 2022 rated it did not like it
Is this the most gullible character ever?

After reading and loving Rebecca, expectations were high for Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel. The premise is incredibly interesting. Philip, a 24-year-old orphan, discovers that his long-time caregiver, Ambrose, has fallen in love with his cousin Rachel. However, Ambrose succumbs to a sudden illness, leaving Rachel a widow. When Philip lays eyes on Rachel, he falls under her spell as well. But is Rachel as great as she seems or is she a black widow?

I loved this story! It reminded me so much of Rebecca, both have that gothic atmosphere, the bit of romance, the slow moving story that builds such tension, and the dimwitted main character. I thought briefly this might even surpass Rebecca as my favorite, but how can you top 'Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again'? Though not too shabby here with 'They used to hang men at Four Tunings in the old days'.

My Cousin Rachel tells the story of obsession. Philip is a young gent, who is grievin
Bionic Jean
My Cousin Rachel was published in 1951, and is a gripping story of suspense. It very much recalls the feel and style of her earlier mystery novel "Rebecca" of 1938.

The novel's narrator is Philip Ashley, a young man who had been orphaned at the early age of seven. He was raised by his bachelor uncle Ambrose, the owner of a large country estate on the Cornish coast. In the first chapter, we learn Philip's life story up to the age of 24.

Ambrose had been a very unconventional guardian, teaching Ph
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to be a lover of the gothic to love My Cousin Rachel. First and foremost, this is scintillating, seductive storytelling by the author who brought us Rebecca.

I must say, while the plot of Rebecca is more complex, boasting an ending that twists and surprises, I think I liked this more. The simplicity of My Cousin Rachel makes it a pleasure to read. Such sly intimations, such lurking dread!

Quick synopsis: Philip's cousin Ambrose, a long time woman-hater, goes traveling and surprise
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic
This was a buddy-read with James (Jay), author of Watching Glass Shatter, and I'm so happy we read this. I'd rate it 4.5* just to distinguish it from Rebecca, which gets the full five.

The book actually began a little slowly for me, and it felt almost discombobulated, as if DuMaurier were shuffling toward the storyline. But then Rachel appears and everything clicks masterfully into gear. DuMaurier expertly conjures a brooding, ambiguous atmosphere, and from the very beginning we wonder about this
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, perfect-novels
What's better than this book? What author on earth is better than Daphne du Maurier? What have we been doing, all this time? Reading impenetrable bollocks like Ulysses? This book has a scene where Philip throws a rope up to Rachel in her bedroom window and she, who might have murdered his family, hauls the basket on the rope up hand over hand, and then he climbs up after and watches while she spills all of his family jewels out of the basket onto her bed. And then they fuck on them. I realize th ...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Du Maurier wields her audience like puppets, deftly stringing readers from truths to untruths in ways both delightful and maddening.

It's the 19th century (I think) an orphaned Philip Ashley has lived in a female-less environment all his life, when his substitute father, mentor, indeed benevolent, older cousin Ambrose starts visiting Europe in the cold months of each year to ease his joint pains... until the time that he doesn't come back. In his place, his widow(!) 'cousin Rachel' comes a callin', and Philip and us readers, then buckle up for a delicious ride of flirtation, beguilement, female power and betrayal, or don't th ...more
Kimber Silver
"How soft and gentle her name sounds when I whisper it. It lingers on the tongue, insidious and slow, almost like poison..."
― Daphne du Maurier

As I stare at the blinking cursor on my screen, thinking about all I’ve witnessed between the covers of My Cousin Rachel, I find myself missing Cornwall and wishing my adventure was not over. But every good story must come to an end, and what an ending it was!

This torrid tale is narrated by Phillip Ashley who, after the death of his parents, has bee
I have been struggling with this review a bit and I think I know why. If you have Rebecca as a point of reference before you read this one, I think you may struggle to review this one, too. If I did not have Rebecca, I would probably go with 4 to 4.5 stars for sure. With Rebecca, it is still great, but 3.5 to 4 instead. I am rounding up to 4 because it is still a very good book, just not Rebecca good!

While intense and mysterious, I found that the intensity and mystery plateaued early on in the b
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“There are some women, Philip, good women very possibly, who through no fault of their own impel disaster. Whatever they touch, somehow turns to tragedy.”
― Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel

Did she? didn't she? It's driving me crazy!


I got lost in this book. I just read it recently. I liked it better then Rebecca.

I will not list the plot because most people already know. The thing I want to talk about is how amazing the book is. And how I was almost driven crazy by the ending.

I had alr
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
“She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment”

This line should be as well known as

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

& this novel is every bit as good as Rebecca. As a reader you twist and turn unable to decide. (view spoiler)

Today I'm thinking (view spoiler) Tomorrow I may think differently, but I know I will still find this book an amaz
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
Why This Book
After reading Rebecca several years ago, I placed My Cousin Rachel, another of Daphne du Maurier's famed novels, on my To Be Read (TBR) shelf. Earlier this year, a Goodreads buddy, Michael, and I were chatting about various books when we decided to do a buddy read together, selecting this wonderful Gothic edition. We were both interested to see if it lived up to the hype and how it compared to the author's other words. We agreed on early March and got to it this week. I'
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating read. Daphne du Maurier has made a name for creating ambiguous stories full of suspense, and My Cousin Rachel does justice to the name earned. I have read Rebecca a long time ago and had loved it but for some reason, I have not taken time to explore her other works. And when this book was brought to light by a group read, I felt it was time that I read more of du Maurier.

With her simple and colourful writing du Maurier crafts a beautiful story that talks full of human em
“Ambrose had been so right when he used to say that women were a race apart.
. . .
This, I thought to myself, is another trick of women, to throw a Jest in the air that left a sting behind it.
. . .
That was the infuriating thing about a woman. Always the last word. Leaving one to grapple with ill-temper, and she herself serene. A woman, it seemed, was never in the wrong. Or if she was, she twisted the fault to her advantage, making it seem otherwise.”

Ambrose Ashley was the confirmed bachelor wh
When Philip's cousin Ambrose dies suddenly, leaving his young heir and his widow Rachel behind, Philip is determined to hate Rachel. She is a mystery, always watching, always there, at times comforting or terrifying. She haunts him, some days belladonna and others bella donna.

Is that hatred in Philip's eyes, or infatuation? What is the difference between the two? When you have spent so much energy loathing someone, will your love always be tinged with resentment? For Philip, utterly unversed in
Iris P
My Cousin Rachel

★★★ 3 ½ Stars

If you haven't read this novel yet here's a short synopsis from the book blurb:
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 h
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
My first reading of this book and unfortunately I did not like it as much as I like Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. I found it to be much too long drawn out and I was never able to become attached to either Philip or Rachel. Consequently I was indifferent to the eventual outcome, not being worried about what happened to either of them.
I was intrigued by the ending though. It is left totally to the reader to decide whether Rachel did it or not, an unusual way of concluding a book!
Obviously the book is
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo
Was Rachel innocent or guilty? Maybe I shall learn that too, in purgatory.

I haven't been reading a lot lately because of exams, report cards, and all those June responsibilities that create tired teachers. Also I recently "discovered " Sense8 on Netflix. But My Cousin Rachel was the kind of book that once opened is impossible to put down.

My Cousin Rachel is narrated by 24 year old Philip Ashley. Raised by an older cousin, Ambrose, Philip has lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous. All
Diane Barnes
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, did Daphne du Maurier ever know how to tell a story! I read "Rebecca" a couple of years ago, more to fill in a gap in my reading history than for any other reason, but it was a riveting gothic suspense novel, and worthy of it's classic status. I bought "My Cousin Rachel" at the same used book sale, and just now got around to it. My word, I think it's even better. It combines a naive and arrogant young man with a worldly "cousin", who had been married to his uncle for a short time, until his ...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
I don’t...

Ok so I recently read (and loved) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier & so imagine my excitement to read another gothic romance/thriller she wrote. I had such high hopes for this, especially given the number of people who I’ve seen consider this somehow better than Rebecca.

I’ll be honest here. 1 Star, that’s kind of an extreme rating. But giving it a 2 Stars or even a 1.5 Stars just doesn’t feel like it genuinely represents how bad of a time I had while reading this. I’m struggling to find
I read Daphne Du Maurier's book "Rebecca" and fell in love with it. I read online that "My Cousin Rachel" had a similar feel as "Rebecca". So I decided this was the one to buy. I didn't think it would live up to Rebecca, but I was mistaken. It has the same dark, mysterious atmosphere to it, the same kind of wonderfully developed characters and a great storyline that captivated me from beginning to end.

I read somewhere that the Kindle version which I read, was shorter than the original version.
Jo (The Book Geek)
Wow, did Daphne Du Maurier know how to tell a story! This was such a tremendously well-written piece of literature, and I feel pretty disappointed to have finished it. Although, I did buy Jamaica Inn today, so I can continue with my Du Maurier fix.
After reading Rebecca, I just had to buy myself more Du Maurier books. Rebecca completely blew my mind. It was stunning, and I'll probably reread it again in the future. My Cousin Rachel, was a slow burner, everything happened with no sudden haste, an
Sep 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review
It seems to my My Cousin Rachel is THE great (unrecognised?) feminist novel of the 20th century. An absolute marvel! I desperately need to write a thesis on it!!!

If you were ever curious about what writing through a male gaze would look like and how it would distort a narrative and its (female) characters, you must read this book.
Marilyn C.
"She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment"

The question that you will be asking yourself when you finish this book "Did she...or didn't she?"

My Cousin Rachel was my first book by Daphne du Maurier and I thought it was brilliant! Written over 75 years ago, this story has such a timeless feel to it. The way du Maurier slowly builds the suspense and mystery was masterful, layer upon layer right up until those final shocking chapters. The characters of the mysterious Rachel and the spoiled an
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Daphne du Maurier was born on 13 May 1907 at 24 Cumberland Terrace, Regent's Park, London, the middle of three daughters of prominent actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel, née Beaumont. In many ways her life resembles a fairy tale. Born into a family with a rich artistic and historical background, her paternal grandfather was author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier, who cre ...more

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