“That was the infuriating thing about a woman. Always the last word. Leaving one to grapple with ill-temper, and she herself serene. A woman, it seemed, was never in the wrong. Or if she was, she twisted the fault to her advantage, making it seem otherwise.”
When Philip’s best friend and older cousin Ambrose, delays returning home because he *happened* to get married on one of his summer trips abroad, you might be a bit jealous. Especially since your inheritance could be at stake. You could be jealous that someone else has altered the dynamics of the friendship and camaraderie you’ve always enjoyed.
As Ambrose corresponds with Philip, all seems fine until before long, the tone of Ambrose’s letters change. Ambrose is sick and suspects his wife, cousin Rachel, of potentially trying to kill him for his money?
I can understand Philip’s suspicion and concern since it doesn’t seem like Ambrose will be home anytime soon. By the time Philip makes the journey to Florence, he’s too late, Ambrose is dead. Cousin Rachel is gone.
Philip suspects that Rachel may have had something to do with Ambrose’s death. He is determined to hate her, but when they meet, how things quickly change. He’s frustrated by her behavior, but then again, he doesn’t have much experience with women.
“Christ! I thought, so that’s how women behave. I had never felt so angry, nor so spent.”
My Cousin Rachel is my second duMaurier and I believe might like this one more than Rebecca. Philip surprised me and so did cousin Rachel. The reoccurring theme or lesson in Vera (Elizabeth von Arnim) and this book: grief is powerful and one should not make major life decisions too soon.
I have a feeling Philip doesn’t fair well at the end and I wonder what REALLY happened, to Ambrose and to Philip and Rachel. It’s all so mysterious.