My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Thursday, June 29, 2017

11300065Title: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published by: Victor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date: 1951 
Read: June 24 - June 28 2017
Genre: Mystery Thriller; Classic
Pages: 351
Mareli's rating: 5 stars
Recommend to: If you can read, you have to read Daphne du Maurier's books. They don't come like this anymore.
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? Goodreads


From the Queen of opening lines - 

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

Comes another one-line wonder 

They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days.


Ever since reading that first line, every little essence of my being became brooding, suspicious and doubtful. Just like Ambrose and Philip, I was captivated by cousin Rachel. 

My Cousin Rachel was first published in 1951 by Victor Gollancz and how lucky am I to have been able to read a first edition! 

Daphne du Maurier got her inspiration for this novel from a painting of Rachel Carew that she saw at Antony House in Cornwall. 

Philip Ashley was raised by his cousin, Ambrose Ashley, the owner of a large country estate on the Cornish coast. Ever since Ambrose sent Philip's nanny packing when he was three years old, he only employed menservants and the tribe was controlled by old Seecombe.

Antony House
Life was good, apart from a few health problems that forced Ambrose to spend the winters in warmer climate. Ambrose chooses Italy for his summer home. Philip misses Ambrose dearly, but luckily he receives frequent letters from him. Ambrose writes that he has met a cousin of theirs (no more detail than that is provided), Rachel, and in the spring Philip is informed of the news that Ambrose and Rachel got married. Gradually, the tone of Ambrose's letters changes. He complaints a lot and some of his letters are a bit incoherent with a few disturbing accusations. 

A concerned Philip travels to Italy and reaches the villa Sangalletti where he learns that Ambrose is dead and that Rachel has left the villa. Philip is heartbroken for his cousin and swears that he will find Rachel and take his revenge on her. Two weeks after his return to Cornwall, his godfather, who is the current guardian of the estate, informs him that Rachel has arrived by boat in Plymouth.

More than that, I do not wish to disclose. That is for you to read. And to decide. Did she? or Did she not?


"There are some women Phillip, good women very possibly, who through no fault of their own, impel disaster. Whatever they touch, somehow turns to tragedy".

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My tutor told us once that truth was something intangible, unseen, that sometimes we stumbled upon and did not recognize, but was found, and held, and understood only by old people near their death, or sometimes by the very pure, the very young.
If you really don't want to read the book (although it will be such a shame), you can watch the 2017 release of Fox Searchlight Pictures' adaptation of the novel, starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. OR the 1952 movie by Twentieth Century-Fox starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton.


My Cousin Rachel (2017 film).pngRachel moviep.jpg



 There are a number of great reviews on the bloggosphere and on the World Wide Web of My Cousin Rachel. All are worth the read, but I will recommend you read A brief moment of Narcissism: a review of My Cousin Rachel by Definitely not for the Birds. 

Last but not least - a very big Thank You to Katherine @ I wish I lived in a Library for joining me for this read-together. Please have a look at her review as well. This was great fun and it kept me motivated to make sure the book gets read. 

What do we read next Katherine? Any other suggestions for read-togethers?


Mareli  











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Plaasmoord deur Karin Brynard

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Titel: Plaasmoord
Skrywer: Karin Brynard
Uitgewer: Human & Rousseau
Eerste druk: 2009
Bladsye: 510 (sagteband)
My gradering: 4 Sterre
Genre: Moord en doodslag, geskiedenis, speur

Aanbeveel aan: Afrikaanse misdaad en speurverhaal liefhebbers (soos Deon Meyer? Ja!)
Kort opsomming: Plaasmoorde het nooit juis vastrapplek gekry in die ylbevolkte Noord-Kaap nie - maar dan word die drie en dertigjarige opkomende skilder Freddie Swarts en haar aangenome dogter aaklig vermoor
Speurder-inspekteur Albertus Beeslaar moet die moord oplos., maar kort voor lank word hy en die vermoorde se suster, Saar ingetrek by bisarre gebeure soos die moord op 'n bobbelaan, 'n veediefstal-sindikaat en 'n groep omgekrapte boere wat sake in hul eie hande wil neem. Goodreads


Ek gaan nogsteeds effens gebuk onder my streng gereformeede skuldbekenning dat ek nie genoeg Afrikaans lees nie. My boetedoening vorder glad nie sleg nie, en ek voel heel trots op myself (wat seker ook nie juis toelaatbaar is nie). Ek het die afgelope maand al 3 Afrikaanse boeke deurgewerk. Dankie tog vir goeie vriende en familie met uitstekende lees-smaak wat almal Afrikaanse boeke aandra.

Ek het die lywige Plaasmoord saam met twee ander gewigte boeke en my getroue kindle in my tas gesmokkel oppad met vakansie. Nodeloos om te noem, het my man dit ontdek en gegrom oor die ekstra gewig. Deel van die gegrom was onder andere die aanname dat mens beslis nie so 'n dik boek kan skryf oor 'n plaasmoord nie. Ja, dit gebeur en dit is baie sleg, maar dis hoogstens 'n voorblad artikel met 'n vervolg op bladsy 3 werd. Ek het maar hard op my tong gebyt (ons almal weet mos die beste tekens van 'n suksesvolle huwelik is al die littekens op die tong) en besluit om eers die boek te lees en dan te besluit of dit 'n argument werd is of nie.

Ek was nog nie eers halfpad in die boek voor ek aan Shakepeare se bekende aanhaling, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet", begin dink het nie. Die titel van hierdie boek is misleidend, bedrieglik, aandagafleidend en vreesaanjaend vir die boere-gemeenskap tans in Suid-Afrika. Ooooeee - dis 'n goeie titel. Want dit is presies hoe die boek is.

Jislaaik, ek het lanklaas so lekker gelees. Speurder-Inspekteur Albertus Markus Beeslaar (spreek dit hardop uit. Dit val so lekker op die tong), is pas uit Johannesburg verplaas om 'n veediefstal-eenheid in die Noord-Kaap op die been te bring. Ag jitte, het inspekteur Beeslaar nou nie vir jou die interessantste twee "sidekicks" (ek kry nie 'n vertaling nie en kantskoppers gaan beslis nie werk nie) nie, Sersante Pyl en Ghaap. Ek weet sommer hierdie driemanskap gaan groot gunstelinge word op my boekrak. 

Image result for Welkom in die Noord Kaap

Die boek val sommer met die deur in die huis. Sonder enige voorafgaande tierlantyntjies of Groot Trek familie geskiedenis. 'n Moord word gepleeg. 'n Plaasmoord.

"'n Plaasmoord raak almal in 'n gemeenskap soos hierdie. Almal. Die vrees, die waar maak van 'n nagmerrie in hulle midde. Dis asof die kollektiewe vrees waarmee iedereen in sy of haar agterkop rondloop, skielik uit die skadu van die onderbewussyn opduik en voor jou kom staan."
Maar is dit werklik net nog 'n plaasmoord? Net nog een van die redelose aanvalle wat ons platteland en plaas gemeenskappe regoor die land teister? Ek doen nie spoilers nie, dit grein teen my streng gereformeerde opvoeding. Maar ek sal die volgende aap uit die mou laat: 'n Plaasmoord kan wel 510 bladsye beslaan, mmaar die moord op Freddie Swarts is nie net nog 'n statistiek nie.

"Die wereld is vol fucked-up mense. En hulle is nie almal arm en swart en honger nie. Soms is hulle wit en mooi en ryk. Maar hulle koppe raas maar almal op dieselfde manier."

Dankie liewe vriendin dat jy sommer al 3 Karin Brynard boeke vir my geleen het. Kannie wag om verder ondersoek in te stel saam met Inspekteur Beeslaar en Pyl en Ghaap nie. 



Mareli 


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Friday Meets - 23 June 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Image result for ecards cold weather

Greetings! While most of my fellow bloggers are enjoying the summer and sunshine, some of us here in the Southern hemisphere are freezing. No, we do not go to the gym. We read. The brain needs exercise too. 

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. For this date, you will need the following:

  • Grab a book (Yes, any book. But it might get you to your other Friday activities a bit quicker if you just grab the book you are currently reading)
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader
  • Find a sentence or two (your other Friday activities might determine this)
  • Post it!
  • Remember to post your link on Freda's Voice and to visit the other guys in the linky.
  • And don't forget to list the title of the book and the author as well.
I had a good reading month so far and I am on schedule. That "monthly reads" shelf on my Goodreads profile proofs to be helpful. I've only deviated on one or two books, but they brought so much pleasure, I don't care. I have My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier lined up for the weekend. Been looking forward to this one for quite some time.I have a 1951 edition to read from and the cupboard is stacked with hot chocolate and my blanky is waiting on the coach. Gosh, sometimes life is just good.

Page 56:

"I arrived home the first week in September. The news preceded me - the Italian had not lied when he told me he had written to Nick Kendall. My godfather had broken the news to the servants and to the tenants on the estate. Wellington was waiting for me at Bodmin with the carriage. The horses were decked in crepe, as were Wellington and the groom, their faces long and solemn."

Sure does sound if someone died here. Or there. Ooh, can't wait to start this one. Let's have a look at the opening lines.


Let's join Gilion @ Rose City Reader now for Book Beginnings. Every Friday we share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


5604250They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days. Not any more, though. Now, when a murderer pays the penalty for his crime, he does so up at Bodmin, after fair trial at the Assizes. That is, if the law convicts him, before his own conscience kills him. It is better so. Like a surgical operation. And the body has a decent burial, though a nameless grave. When I was a child it was otherwise. I can remember as a little lad seeing a fellow hang in chains where the four roads meet. His face and body were blackened with tar for preservation. He hung there for five weeks before they cut him down, and it was the fourth week that I saw him.

How times have changed. Books don't come like this anymore. Murderer's conscience doesn't come like that anymore either. And a young lad who has to lay eyes on a four week old corpse will now need life-long therapy. 


Image result for the good old days quotes


As always, I will also be joining the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer. Every week they will pop a question that you need to answer. Post your answer to your blog, enter your post to the linky provided, make yourself a cup of coffee and go visit the other blogs in the list. 

Today's questions: If you are at a really good point in a book and the phone or doorbell rings, do you stop reading or let the phone or door go unanswered?

My Answer: My pets are well trained. And I don't have a doorbell.

Image result for hiding from the door bell gif Image result for do not disturb face

But seriously now, my biggest "disturbance" is not the doorbell, a sleigh-bell, a cat-bell or the phone ringing. It's my husband!! Really. Seriously. It happens time and time again. I will be in the most important place in a novel, just before you find out who the killer is - or even worse, I will have only 2 pages left, and then he wants attention. Or go for a walk. Or he's hungry. *Sigh* Oh, what to do. I don't need to train my husband to do household chores, I've got that under control. It's my DO NOT DISTURB face I need to work on. I still struggle with that one.

Mareli 


Talk to me! -  What are you reading this weekend? What do you do with an annoying disturbance a when you are reading? 

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Top Ten Tuesday - Serious Series I need to read Seriously

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Image result for series light bulbs
It's Tuesday and time to get serious about reading series' with Top Ten Tuesday. Seriously, you need to start reading that series you've been putting off ever since Eskom first introduced load shedding. 

Personally, I don't read that many series. The problem with a series is you need to read them ALL, for if you take one out, none of the other bulbs will light up and you will be sitting in the dark. 

Image result for lightbulb gif


But I still have the following series' on my TBR list and I haven't started with any of these. Not one book or even book one from anyone. 


462033 6218281 83927

Maisie Dobbs
Flavia de Luce
Phryne Fisher

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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Dark Tower
The Mediator

17675462 10822858 231604

The Raven Cycle
Department Q
Temperance Brennan

I am planning to start an Afrikaans series in July that might just give me the jeebie creeps, but I am sooooo looking forward to it! Promise to sleep with the lights on. Unfortunately, no English translation yet. Promise to tell you everything.

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But when do I plan to start the rest of the series'? Your guess is as good as mine. It will have to be light bulb moment.

Related image

What series is next in line for you? And which series has blown a fuse?

Mareli 


This post links up with Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Remember to add your link and to share with your fellow bloggers.






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It's Monday! What are you reading? #7

Monday, June 19, 2017

Image result for everybody hates mondays

The problem with Mondays.... Endless. I was actually looking forward to Monday, but then BAM - it just smacks you in the face with all its demands and oh-here's-another-problem at 08:00 on a Monday morning. But I don't hate Monday. I honestly don't. At least not the part where we can talk about books. 

We took a mini-break last week and I spend it reading. The whole time. Came to the conclusion that reading really does solve everything and it's the best therapy. Monday should try reading. We as readers and bloggers should unite and force the world to spend Mondays reading. It will solve an endless amount of world problems. So nice to still believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy. Don't you think?

Recently finished

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The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh You get serial killers. And then you get Don. Jeez... This was a good read. So sad that the author passed away earlier this year. I'm sure we could have expected a few more great reads from her. Review
Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard - I am binding myself to the promise to read more Afrikaans books. The Afrikaans title is "Plaasmoord" and it translates to Farm Murder. Something that is unfortunately very real and happening in South Africa. But don't judge the book only by it's title. This was a real page turner and it is available in English as well. Review to follow. 
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty - My favorite read for last week. This was a therapy session all wrapped into one book. Review to follow.

Currently Reading

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Dubbelspel deur Wilna Adriaanse - Another Afrikaans book. No English translation, yet. Hopefully. This book involves another sad reality in South Africa - organised crime syndicates. 
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult - Just started with it, can't really give an opinion yet. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult. But I believe this one will be one of the love ones.


Cross my heart, hope to read

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I've created a new shelf on my Goodreads Profile called Monthly Reads. Maybe it will help to get me a bit more organized with my monthly reading schedules. I still have the following books lined up for June:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier - I have a joint-review scheduled with Katherine from I wish I lived in a library on the 29th of June. I have a 1951 edition of this novel to read from and hope to start this week!
American Gods by Neil Gaiman - TBR list #522, need to read this before my husband discovers it on Netflix.
A Sky Full of Stars by Melissa Josias - South African author I stumbled on on Amazon.
Hushed by Joanne Macgregor - Cary over from May. 

Will I get to all of them?Most probably not. But this shelf on Goodreads will be a constant reminder. 

What have you been up to this week? Any new books I really should know about? 

This post links up with the weekly feature It's Monday! Brought to you by The Book Date. Remember to link your post and share it with your fellow bloggers. Remember we need to take over Mondays and for that we need to stand together and build an army.....!

Enjoy your week and happy reading!

Mareli 

















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The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

34814293Title: The Serial Killer's Daughter
Author: Lesley Welsh
Published by: Bookouture
Publication date: 14 June 2017 
Read: June 5 - June 10 2017
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 343
ISBN:  9781786811929
Mareli's rating: 4 stars
Recommend to: PSYCHO (Some new killing tips and how to lie about it here)
Description: Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don. Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women. To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, whose death ten years before in an unexplained and devastating fire broke Suzanne’s heart. But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her? Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move? Lesley Welsh.com

After Lesley Welsh's editor at Bookouture read The Serial Killer's Daughter for the first time, she turned to the author and said, "I do sometimes worry that Don Tyler came out of your head".



As a reader and lover of psychological thrillers, I've often wondered about that. And not only for Lesley Welsh, but for numerous other well acclaimed authors as well. What is going on in your head for you to make up characters like these? And what is wrong with me for liking these books and characters so much? 

Now just imagine that you are related to such a character. Directly. The force of genes might be strong in you.... 

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Suzanne was raised by her mother and only have a few recollecting memories of her father. She remembers his on and off visits as a little girl and the lavish gifts and spoils accompanied by these visits. After her mother got remarried, the visits and gifts stopped. Until one final visit 10 years ago that left her with a new kind of "gift". The gift of loss and despair. But her father didn't really have anything to do with it. Did he?

When she was contacted by a strange, rather neurotic lady claiming her father's death, Suzanne wasn't much bothered. Until she had a look at the possessions he apparently wanted her to have. A few diaries and a couple of photos stacked in locked chest. Pandora herself couldn't have placed more evil in there. 

You get serial killers who have a certain modus operandi. They think, they plan, they search, they wait. They slay. And then you get Don. Up to the very last page, there is not much method in his madness. Unless you count the twists and turns his own mind creates as method. 

Image result for serial killers meme

The Serial Killer's Daughter was an intriguing read with some great characters. I enjoyed the connection between the different characters and it rounded the story in a compelling way. It really is a tragedy that Lesley Welsh passed away earlier this year. I'm sure we could have expected a few more great thrillers from her pen.

A big thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy of this novel.

Mareli 







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