Asha Seth's Reviews > My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2013, classics, historical, thrillers, favorites
Recommended for: Romantic-Mystery Readers
Read 2 times. Last read July 10, 2013 to July 20, 2013.

Is Rachel evil or not? Is she responsible or not for Ambrose's death? Is she innocent or guilty?

The centre point of the story that is left unanswered!

Philip Ashley is orphaned at an early age and is raised by his old cousin Ambrose Ashley in Cornwall. Due to health constraints, Ambrose makes a trip to Rome to spend the winter there and while traveling he meets his distant cousin and widow Countess Rachel Sangaletti, a woman Philip has never heard about before.

Quite to Philip's surprise, Ambrose falls in love with Rachel and they get married. While away, Ambrose keeps writing to Philip and telling him about his whereabouts. Slowly, the letters grow infrequent and once or twice, Ambrose mentions that he has fallen sick and no matter what treatment, he does not seem to recover. It greatly concerns Philip when one such letters reveals that Rachel has somehow been involved in his degrading health, that she was poisoning him and her behavior toward Ambrose has drastically changed. Ambrose asks Philip to visit him in Italy right away as with his present condition he will never be able to return to Cornwall.

By the time, Philip reaches the villa where his ill cousin and his wife had stayed, he is dumbstruck to know that Ambrose is dead and that his wife along-with an old friend by the name Rainaldi has left the house with all the belongings except for his cousin's hat.

Devastated and angry at the same time, Philip is certain that this wicked and cunning cousin Rachel poisoned his Ambrose to death and is so bitter of her that he contemplates the bad nasty treatment he would favor in return when he meets her one fine day for having been instrumental in his cousin's death whom he so dearly loved.

However, when Rachel visits him, he is stunned to see her in person and believe if she could've ever been responsible for Ambrose's death. This new Rachel is so beautiful, sweet and charming and still mourning her husband's death, quite contrary to what he had imagined her to be.

Gradually, as the story unfolds, in spite of her suspiciously mysterious ways, Philip cannot stop but fall head-over-heels in love with Rachel to an extent of obsessive madness when he gives away all his ancestral wealth to Rachel disregarding all warnings and hints that keep coming his way about Rachel's secretive social and
monetary affairs with Rainaldi.

Toward the end, Philip starts to suffer with the same headache and fever pangs like Ambrose did and one fine night he discovers that Rachel has been poisoning him too. He realizes what Rachel has been doing and plans to gather enough evidence and uncover her wicked traitorous ways but Rachel dies in an accident by falling off a newly constructed bridge.

My Cousin's Rachel is the work of a genius with the kind of intricately woven tale of mystery that it is. An extraordinary psychological thriller that keeps you awake right through the late night hours upto the early morning ones just so you can satisfy the building curiosity, the one question - Is Rachel really a shrewd woman responsible for her husband's death or merely a weak woman mourning his death?

The plot is well organized and described by Miss Maurier. All the places, the countryside, characters, their psychology in different situations, and how little things can influence the thoughts of even the most headstrong individuals.

The steady suspense built that keeps growing intense after every page is truly astonishing and keeps you digging through the book till the very end. Although it might appear as a traditional slow moving story but it keeps the reader captivated nonetheless with the intriguing mindly manipulations and rapturous compelling character descriptions from the silliest to the smartest.

In short, it is one of those cozy books that you can read through the day sitting on the porch with infrequent sips of tea and enjoy it tremendously despite the ambiguity caused by the author.

Highly Recommended!!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (ebook Edition)
May 18, 2012 – Shelved
July 8, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013
July 8, 2013 – Shelved as: classics
July 8, 2013 – Shelved as: historical
July 8, 2013 – Shelved as: thrillers
July 9, 2013 –
page 2
0.6% "On page 2 - "If we killed women for their tongues, all men would be murderers.""
July 10, 2013 – Started Reading
July 10, 2013 –
page 28
8.36% "On page 26,\n "For God's sake, come to me quickly. She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment. If you delay, it may be too late. Ambrose."\n This is the point where mystery steps in. Until now all was just smooth and bland. I am enjoying it."
July 10, 2013 –
page 49
14.63% "Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel."
July 11, 2013 –
page 87
25.97% "On page 84, " I must remember, I thought to myself, not to drink brandy another time after a ten-mile walk in the rain; it dulls the senses and does not ease the tongue. I had come to fight this woman and I had not even started.""
July 12, 2013 –
page 102
30.45% "On page 102,\n "Those things can never be explained, they happen. Why this man should love that woman, what queer chemical mix-up in our blood draws us to one another, who can tell?""
July 16, 2013 –
page 155
July 18, 2013 –
page 185
55.22% "On page 182,\n Before dressing for dinner, I had sent along to Rachel's room the collar of pearls. I had left it in its wrappings but had placed a note inside. On the note I had written these words, "My mother wore this last. Now it belongs to you. I want you to wear it tonight, and always. Philip.""
July 18, 2013 –
page 217
64.78% "On Page 205,\n "One thought possesses me, leaving me no peace. Are they trying to poison me?"\n Ambrose"
July 20, 2013 – Finished Reading
July 21, 2013 – Shelved as: favorites
October 5, 2015 – Shelved (ebook Edition)
December 21, 2017 – Shelved as: 2015 (ebook Edition)

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Book'd Nice review Ashu, added it !

Asha Seth You'll love it!

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