My Cousin Rachel (Virago Modern Classics)

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier Another book that I would not have picked up normally, but was book of the month for a book club. It is probably the nearest to a classic that I have ever read.It concerns a uncle and nephew at a Cornish property. The house where they live is only inhabited by men, them, the staff and so on. Uncle Ambrose heads off to Italy for his usual summer jaunt, and fails to return. The nephew receives letters from him, before receiving the revelation that he is now married to a cousin who lives out there. The letters that Philips receives imply that there is something troubling Ambrose, so Philip heads out there, and on arrival finds out that he recently died. He tried to contact Rachel the cousin, but finds that she has gone away, so he returns to England.Shortly after his return, his cousin, Rachel arrives, and he invites her to stay at the house. Philip becomes infatuated with her. Rachel starts to change the garden and the estate as she sees fit, and at that point is accepted into the community. As Philips infatuation grows she exerts more control over him and the estate, he finds letter that were never sent, stating that Ambrose felt that she was trying to poison him. In a fit of naivety, he signs the estate over to her on his 25th birthday, and asks her to marry him. She refuses and he falls ill, before recovering. Philip realises that she is trying to poison him as well, and starts to make amends for his foolishness. He finds that the family jewels will be left to him after she dies, and following on from a dinner with friends neglect to tell her about work being carried out in the garden, She has an accident, and dies in a fall.I found the character of Rachel to be strong, cold and calculating. She is very determined to maintain her expensive lifestyle, and sees that this property is the way to do it. She has a close Italian friend that at one point does not know her location, and yet appears in Cornwall. Philip is naive, impetuous, and infatuated. These blind him to the reason that she is there, but with the help of Louise he sees Rachel for what she is.Quite enjoyed it, but would I read another of hers? Maybe.

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