Rummanah Aasi
  I read and absolutely loved Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier when I was a freshman in high school. It was the first book my school librarian recommended to me when I was looking for a book to capture my attention. Rebecca was my first foray into the romantic suspense genre and a book which I measured all other books in that genre. Du Maurier downplays the romance but takes a closer look into the human psyche. My Cousin Rachel does the same and the ending will leave you reeling.

Description: 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. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet... might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?

Review: My Cousin Rachel is the story of obsession, independence, sexuality, and guilt. The story is seen through the eyes of a young gentleman named Philip who is grieving over the loss of his cousin and father figure named Ambrose. Shortly before his death, Ambrose married the notorious and so-called black widow Rachel. Ambrose has completely smitten by Rachel though his health quickly deteriorated and died. There is some speculation that Rachel may be responsible for Ambrose death as she mysteriously leaves a trail of dead men behind her. Now Rachel goes to Cornwall to return the belonging of Ambrose to Philip. Philip has decided to hate Rachel and wants nothing to do with her at all, but when these two characters meet Philip begins to change his mind.
 Rachel is unlike any woman that Philip has seen. She does not restrict herself to the social mores that surround her and has had male companions. She is extremely intelligent, refined, and very far from the damsel in distress that people expect her to be because she is a widow. Rachel does not appear to be concerned with money though financial security appears rather quickly for her. As Philip tries to understand Rachel, he falls in love with her and becomes obsessed. His inexperience and immaturity is clear, but are his actions his own or is he being influenced? Is Rachel evil or not? These are the central questions that come into play when Philip's large inheritance comes into question.
 There are many ways you can analyze My Cousin Rachel, which is the main reason why I really enjoyed this book. The story slowly reaches a climax as we get pieces of both Philip and Rachel's back stories. The ending is a shocker and open ended, which might annoy some readers who like clear cut resolutions but it also lends itself to discussion. Definitely pick this up if you enjoy romantic suspense with Gothic undertones. The recent movie adaptation featuring Rachel Weisz and Sam Clafin is quite good and worth watching.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images but nothing too graphic. Recommended to older teen readers and adults.

If you like this book try: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The English Wife by Lauren Willig,
6 Responses
  1. Interesting... but it also depends on HOW open that ending is... and I do need at least some resolution. :) I do think I'm curious!

  2. I never read the original Rachel, but this sounds good.

  3. Small Review Says:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I really enjoy Daphne du Maurier's books. So glad you said you liked the movie. I've been wondering about it.

  4. I haven’t read this, and like you, I fell in love with Rebecca when I was in the ninth grade. I saw the previews for the movie and was curious about it. Now I want to read and watch the movie!

  5. Kindlemom Says:

    I love the sound of both books you mentioned. I need to check this author out, I really think I would like them. And, yay for amazing librarians!

  6. I wasn't a big fan of Rebecca, but I liked Du Maurier's writing style and that's the reason why My Cousin Rachel is still on my to read list. Also, I'd like to watch the film, but first I'll definitely read the book.

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found

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