I read Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel yesterday…
I read it all in one day; I just couldn’t bring myself put it down. It was like being fourteen all over again, and reading Rebecca for the first time.
It’s similar, in some ways. Like Rebecca, it’s narrated from a first-person perspective, and set in Cornwall ‘high society’. But the narrator, this time, is a man (as opposed to the nameless bride in Rebecca).
Rebecca, in some sense, was a tale of moral absolutes: The nameless narrator-bride is pure and innocent, while Rebecca was pure evil. My Cousin Rachel is murkier, and more morally ambiguous. Is Rachel truly a heartless manipulator, as her deceased husband made her out to be? Or is she simply a misunderstood victim of circumstance?
Maybe Dame Daphne answers those questions, or maybe she doesn’t. In any case, the same brooding, haunting tone that defined Rebecca defines this tale as well. There’s a movie, too, starring Rachel Weisz. I’ma hit Best Buy tomorrow, and pick it up.
And if the movie sucks… I’ll hafta go have words with the director, ‘cuz the novel was pure gold.
Go read it!