Mark's Reviews > The House on the Strand

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

it was amazing

It helps that I grew up very close to the locations featured in The House on the Strand, and perhaps that's one of the reasons for my particular fondness for this tale of love and longing.

The storyline weaves brilliantly between the twentieth and fourteenth centuries, with the hero, Dick Young, experiencing a grand passion for the unhappy Isolda, the enigmatic, medieval opposite of his mundane twentieth century wife, Vita.

I recently read Margaret Forster's biography of Dame du Maurier and noted that in general Dick's character was not much liked. That took me by surprise for I had conceived a much stronger irritation against Vita, against the good doctor, in short against everyone that stood between Dick and his trips back into the past. I felt that I understood and commiserated his position, there seemed something very "Edward and Wallis" about his being under the thumb of his American wife, with her obvious longing for parties and society; Dick dreamed only of remaining by the Cornish coast.

A hauntingly beautiful paean to lost days, which left a lasting impression. A hugely underrated and little known work which, in my mind, is even more superior to du Maurier's most successful novel, Rebecca.
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09/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Koel Yes I found Vita irritating too funnily.

Susan E I didn't read the biography, but did watch the film "Daphne" (with a surprise glimpse of Downton Abbey's Lady Mother).I thought Vita was a perfect caricature of "modern American woman" by a Cornwall woman. Daphne would have been trying to find ways to escape from her presence : rearranging throw cushions ! Really ! How inane !

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