Elyse's Reviews > My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
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Jun 06, 2017

it was amazing

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 soon.

Regardless 'which' Daphne du Maurier book one chooses to read... the reader has NO QUESTION ABOUT THE AUTHORS TALENTS. SHE CAN TELL A STORY LIKE NOBODIES BUSINESS!!!

Since there are 17,462 Ratings on Goodreads - 1, 638 reviews- with an overall rating of 3.9 on Goodreads ..... rather than write another traditional review--
I'm going to write a little letter to three characters in this story and one dog.

Dear Ambrose,
I'm sorry your life was cut short. I'm happy you experienced romantic-soulful love....but again, I'm sorry it was cut short. I'm sorry you suffered just before you died - sounded like you were in excruciating pain physically- and mentally.
What I'm most sorry about though - disappointed - is the way in which you raised Philip. I don't think you did him any service. He idolized you - was dependent on you emotionally- spiritually - mentally - and even physically in ways. You feed him 'your' opinions and judgments about women.... which was basically they weren't needed in your lives. Given the size of your estate - and the many servants you hired - it would have made sense if some of your employees were men and some women. But.... you made sure that all servants in the house, including the Gardner we're all men.
How dare you project your views so rigidly upon this innocent boy. You molded him his life -- not just sheltered it - but actually spoon feed him your beliefs. Shame on you for doing that.
After you died.... Philip didn't have a healthy sense of 'self'. He was left alone in the world --- a younger clone of 'you'. But that didn't even work.... did it?? As Philip begins to discover he might not have known you as well as he thought.
Well, Ambrose.... what is done is done. Philip had to figure things out on his own --- which isn't SO BAD..... it's something we all must do, but in the best of all world's - you might have done things a little different by him while he was in your care.
Bottom line: Philip had some problems - you must have foreseen these showing up sooner or later......
AND..... Philip loved you. You loved him.
Rest In Peace Ambrose!!

Dear Philip,
Oh, how I worried for you. At times I adored you - other times I wanted to scream at you: "WAKE UP"!!!! Your life was so small you couldn't even see how much it had stifled you. I did respect your authentic struggle between feeling jealous of Ambrose and Rachel's happiness in their new marriage--- and your guilt for having such feelings. You were being real and honest with yourself - facing 'what's so'. You weren't blaming anyone - or lashing out negatively against anyone just because of your own negative feelings.
Philip you became mysterious to me once you turned 25 years old-- as if your birthday was THE LAUNCH you had been constructing -preparing for - your entire life. I wasn't sure who you were any longer. I not sure you knew either. It looked like you were acting out impulsively to me -- in ways that perhaps Rachel might do.....
but I don't think so, Philip. I actually don't think either - you or Rachel ever acted impulsively. I think you were both playing a master chess game.
I am sorry you lost Ambrose. I'm sorry you lost him the way you did. I was sorry that you hurt. I was very sorry for your loss of Don ( your doggie). I found it somewhat interesting that right after Don died the first thought that ran through your mind was noticing that Rachel was caring for you - for the first time perhaps - more than Ambrose. You seemed to deny your 'own' feelings for your loss as Don, saying to Rachel, ....."Don did not suffer". I was thinking ...."like hell". If you had something fall on 'your' head..... could you really say.... "oh I didn't feel a thing"?
You were so in chanted by Rachel at that moment, Philip, your dog who had been with you your entire life took a second seat. What a fool you were!
I don't think you really meant to do any harm.... yet I thought you were a insensitive..... like a child.....you were a little narcissistic about yourself. And why? You were woman- starved your entire life! I was hoping that he would just go f#%k your brains out! You needed time to catch up with 'growing yourself up'.
You certainly didn't need to even consider jumping into a marriage at age 25 as a virgin man! It was your own fault if Rachel had you tied by her little finger.

NOTE..... for friends who have NOT read this book.... I HAVE GIVEN NO SPOILERS AWAY!!!! None!

Dear Rachel,
Oh my dear woman..... aren't you the enchantress--mischievous aren't you? Bossy-endearing?......"Philip, Go to Bed"! How funny! I did like that line you said a 'few' times. I was wondering why you didn't just say, "come to my bed".... but I knew why really....( he would have)....you were not 'that' foolish! You had better strategic moves, didn't you?
Oh..... and how you familiarize yourself with the estate and stories after stories about Philip from Ambrose. Plotting were you? You could seem so delicate. The entire staff adored you....you were quite brilliant at being you. You had me believing in your thriftlessness--your unpolishedness. But you were actually quite skilled and sophisticated ....... You had a natural masterly authoritative way about yourself. Tears included. I'm not sure I fault you though --- Philip and you 'both' played a dangerous game with the hearts of love - money - and -control.

Dear Don,
I'm sorry you died so suddenly. You were 15 years old. I loved when you snuggled near the fireplace with Philip..... Rest in peace, Don! You were a treasure in this story.


The REAL WINNER .......goes to Daphne du Maurier....she knows how to develop characters - how to spin a story - how to involve the readers ...... A+

Oops... we don't grade these books - do we?/! - we rate them! 5 stars!!!
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Reading Progress

06/04 marked as: to-read
06/06 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-46 of 46) (46 new)

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message 1: by Hemant (new) - added it

Hemant There is already a movie coming out Elyse ! With Rachel (Weisz) as Rachel.

Good review :)


MaryannC.Book Fiend I'm reading this one right now Elyse, but I haven't added to it my currently reading list yet, the first few pages are hooking me in.


message 3: by Monica (new)

Monica Great review, Elyse! You made me want to revisit Daphne du Maurier... and my own teenage years! Well, that was quite an extraordinay feat. Thanks for taking me back there!


Iris P Elyse, I am going to skip reading your review for now, since I am reading it myself. I'll come back once I am done. I am excited about the movie, looks great!


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Wonderful review, Elyse! I'm going to come back and read it again once I have read this book (I haven't even read Rebecca yet!). Xo 😘


Elyse Hemant wrote: "There is already a movie coming out Elyse ! With Rachel (Weisz) as Rachel.

Good review :)"


Hemant: Yippy!!!!!!! Great....oh, and I can see Rachel Weisz in the role! --perfect casting! :)


Elyse MaryannC.Book Fiend wrote: "I'm reading this one right now Elyse, but I haven't added to it my currently reading list yet, the first few pages are hooking me in."

Hi Maryann, The first few pages hooked me right away, too! -Hope you continue to enjoy. We can chat about it after you're done. The ending is interesting.


Elyse Monica wrote: "Great review, Elyse! You made me want to revisit Daphne du Maurier... and my own teenage years! Well, that was quite an extraordinay feat. Thanks for taking me back there!"

Awwww, Thanks Monica!!! :) -- I think I'll read "Jamaica Inn" next.
Have you read that one?


Elyse Iris P wrote: "Elyse, I am going to skip reading your review for now, since I am reading it myself. I'll come back once I am done. I am excited about the movie, looks great!"

Hi Iris --- great....we 'also' can chat about it after you've read it. Lots to think about. I'm thrilled they with Rachel Weisz playing the the role of Rachel in the movie. (sounds perfect to me)


Elyse Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "Wonderful review, Elyse! I'm going to come back and read it again once I have read this book (I haven't even read Rebecca yet!). Xo 😘"

Hi Jennifer -- These books getting addicting! -- du Maurier sure can tell a story! We are hooked! I loved Scapegoat as much as Rebecca.
I thought it was a fascinating story, too!


message 11: by KAS (new) - added it

KAS Fascinating review, Elyse! Sounds like an amazing read! Adding now ;)) XooX


message 12: by Candace (new) - added it

Candace Terrific review! I loved how you wrote it, very creative.


Elyse Thanks KAS.... I'm sure you'll like this one!!! Hugs and love xo


Elyse Hi Candace... thanks !!! :). Great story!!! Can't wait to see the movie


message 15: by l a i n e y (new) - added it

l a i n e y Great review Elyse. I have never read her work before either but I saw the movie trailer and got curious so read the first chapter and i liked the writing, think i'm going to finish before I see the movie :)


message 16: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Loved your creativity in this review, Elyse! It was fun to read, and brought back memories of this book for me. I read most of Daphne du Maurier's novels when I was a lot younger, but I really want to find time to read them again - I'm a big fan, too!


message 17: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa I'm a new reader of this author and can't wait to read more especially after this very inventive review! Awesome as always Elyse :)


Marjorie One of my all-time favorite authors. So glad you've found her. :)


Elyse Marjorie.... thanks! I'm so glad I found her too. Also becoming one of my favorite authors. - He books are timeless. Also -- it's since reading several this year..
and John Boyne ...
and Naill Williams - both Irish authors ...
I realized how much I was craving novels that were not written in the new style I see so often....
POV... where every chapter begins with a new narrator.
I'll almost do ANYTHING to avoid those books today - throw them out the window - not accept any freebie....
I hit the wall with ALL OF THEM..
There are enough writers who don't write like that -- none of the older authors did - and many new authors today, too,to choose from.
I know that all of du Maurier's books will be written with blended dialogue... not choppy individual POV chapters.
So ...yes ...soo happy I found her And am learning more of what I like and don't like.
HOPE YOU ARE GOOD!!!


message 20: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly  B I also read Daphne's biography which was fascinating! Great Review!


Elyse Vanessa... thank you!
Everyone says Rebecca is their favorite... which I loved too -- but there are none I haven't liked.
I think this author begins to spoil my 'other' reading.... lol
But truthfully - she does -
When storytelling is so rich.... we want MORE! lol.
Hugs sweet girl!!!


Elyse Hi Jaline .... I can imagine you reading them all when you were younger ...
The natural bookworm when these books were first coming out. DuMaurier is fantastic!

Were you a Wallace Stegner fan too?
Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose? Those were two of my favorite books during my 'awakening' to the joys of reading.


Elyse lainey... oh I always think that's a great excuse to read a book knowing the movies coming out. Lol
Right? :) xo. Oh yes ... keep going. It will start to read fast too.
xo


Elyse Holly.... oh yeah I heard that was a great book. I'm sorry I didn't check it out when it was on net galley and I considered it too and I'm not sure why I didn't.
Perhaps I'll get it from the library later. Thank you!!! Xoxo
I need to look up the name of it thank you.


MaryannC.Book Fiend Elyse wrote: "MaryannC.Book Fiend wrote: "I'm reading this one right now Elyse, but I haven't added to it my currently reading list yet, the first few pages are hooking me in."

Hi Maryann, The first few pages h..."


Awesome, brought it with me to work so I can read it on my lunch hour


message 26: by Deyanne (new) - added it

Deyanne Creative and fresh review. Like you, I, too, have read Daphne du Maurier this year. Quite the roller coaster ride. She writes on the "dark"but brilliant side for me and I am choosing to take her in small doses. Great review Elyse.


message 27: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara I'm glad they are making a new movie of it, because it is spurring people to read it who might not otherwise. One of my all-time favorite writers and always a trip back to being a girl when I pick up one of her books. Your review made me laugh. You are always so unique...with the letters and the dog.

I've been thinking about you. Life is a roller-coaster, but I will message you soon and catch up. Meanwhile ((hugs)).


Elyse Hi Maryann... I hope you enjoyed lunch & your book date!! :) xo


Elyse Deyanne... so we are both newbies... I understand-- small doses. I thought I was spreading her out myself. I started in January, I think. And.... thank you!! Xo


Elyse Hi Sara, I agree .... the movies listen more people back to this book and other books of hers!!!


Oh... and your ears must be ringing because I've been thinking of you too. Our thoughts are communicating... :) I met dozens of authors this past weekend. I'll share more later .... a few great discussions..... plus .... with two very odd Uber experiences to and from Berkeley....
The morning one scary - the second day - late afternoon- just a 'wow' surprise ... I have to include Uber is part of that weekend experience.
Hugs. Love and sending bunches of happy healthy boundless engery silly fun and loving energy to you!!!


David I LOVE Dumaur


David Du Maurier


message 33: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Elyse wrote: "Hi Jaline .... I can imagine you reading them all when you were younger ...
The natural bookworm when these books were first coming out. DuMaurier is fantastic!

Were you a Wallace Stegner fan too..."


Somehow I missed this great author's works altogether, I have added your two recommendations by Wallace Stegner to my wishlist. They sound like books I would really enjoy! Thanks so much, Elyse!


message 34: by Deyanne (new) - added it

Deyanne Elyse wrote: "Deyanne... so we are both newbies... I understand-- small doses. I thought I was spreading her out myself. I started in January, I think. And.... thank you!! Xo"

You always make me smile. Rebeccahas been a long favorite that I have reread and savored each time. Her other books are a new experience. Quite the talent and diversity!


Elyse Very cool David... great taste!!!! lol
:) ... but we know that!!! :)


Elyse Jaline.... you know you are about the third - Life Time person I asked about Stegner Wallace - The two other people I asked read almost exclusively ONLY the GREAT BOOKS... 'the classics' too...

But for some reason Wallace Stegner... was often left out among. I think people here in California tended to know him.
If you were from the Midwest or back east it's possible not as much.
I PROMISE YOU.... those two books I mentioned are going to be books YOU WILL LOVE!!!!!


Elyse Oops Life time reader... but I figured you knew what I meant. Lol
Sorry Jaline! xo


Elyse Ohhhhhhh Deyanne.... lol
Well at least they make you smile cabbage girl. As for Rebecca... I was late to that party too! Xo


message 39: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Elyse wrote: "Oops Life time reader... but I figured you knew what I meant. Lol
Sorry Jaline! xo"


Elyse wrote: "Jaline.... you know you are about the third - Life Time person I asked about Stegner Wallace - The two other people I asked read almost exclusively ONLY the GREAT BOOKS... 'the classics' too...

Bu..."


Hahaha - yes, I knew what you meant. I am glad those two Stegners have such a strong recommendation from you! As soon as I get through my current library Holds, I am going to add both of them. Thanks again! :)


message 40: by Mackey (new)

Mackey St I read some of Rebecca in school and didn't read more, I feel ashamed. Great review and motivation as well.


Enchantress  debbicat ☮ Fantastic review! I also loved this. Great idea on the letter writing. And I'll be seeing the movie that opens tomorrow. :$


☮Karen Love your review, Elyse. :-D


Iris P Wonderful to read your "letters" to these characters, Elyse. I shared your sentiments, or most of them anyway. You are definitely more charitable with Phillip than me! Charming review :)


message 45: by Kristiej (new)

Kristiej I read her books years and I mean YEARS ago. I loved Frenchman's Creek. And I found Jamaica Inn very intriguing


Laurie Loved this review! I love all her books, she is a great storyteller, as you say. I am currently re-visiting her books after a 40+ hiatus. (now I sound very old)


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