The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier Review

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080427, 329pp

Last October I asked my husband for a whole stack of Daphne du Maurier books for my birthday. I’ve been reading my way through them slowly, discovering old favourites I haven’t read for years, as well as Daphne du Maurier books I previously knew nothing about. The House on the Strand is one of those books I knew little about before reading. I went in without expectations and was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It’s a time travel book, but written in such an original way. I found it fascinating. It has firmly cemented Daphne du Maurier in my eyes as an author who was the master of any genre. Continue reading

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Review

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier review
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080403, 335pp

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. As part of my quest to read more Daphne du Maurier books this year, I finally got around to reading it.

The story is written from the perspective of Philip Ashley, a young man on the cusp of turning twenty-five who has a lot to learn about the world and a lot of maturing to do. Philip was raised by his cousin, Ambrose, after the death of his parents, and grows up on a beautiful estate in Cornwall. But Ambrose suffers from ill-health so must spend the winter months over in Italy where it’s warm. Continue reading

The Hound of the Baskervilles Review

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle review
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, ISBN 978014199177, 189pp

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read more classics. Last year I planned to read a huge pile of classics but unfortunately only ended up reading a handful of books in this category. This year I’m determined to read as many of my classics as I can.  The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is my second classic novel of the year. It features the wonderfully eccentric, brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson. Continue reading

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier Review

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier review
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9780349006598, 272 pp

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is my first read of 2019. I read this a long time ago, so was happy to do a re-read as I had forgotten most of the plot. I’m so glad that I read this again as it was a fantastic read which I enjoyed so much.

Frenchman’s Creek is a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure set during the Restoration period in England. Lady Dona St Columb, the mother of two small children, is fed up with the shallow life she leads at Court. She is known for being a daring woman who drinks with her husband, his friends and their mistresses and is known to engage in wild escapades. Continue reading

My 2019 Bookish Resolutions

My penguin clothbound classics

Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.

Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:

Classics on my shelf that I want to read

Continue reading

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier Review

The King's General by Daphne du Maurier review
The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080892, 372pp

My husband bought me a whole stack of Daphne du Maurier books for my birthday. Over the years I’ve read Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. But I wanted to read more of her books. The King’s General is set in 17th century Cornwall during the time of the English Civil War. Even though this book is called The King’s General, and he features as a character in the novel, the story is told from the point-of-view of Honor Harris.

When Honor is eighteen she is passionate, beautiful, reckless and the spoiled youngest daughter of a large family. She reminded me a bit of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. Honor meets Sir Richard Grenville, a soldier who cares only for fighting and not about the feelings of those around him. Richard is a bit like Rhett Butler, only meaner, and he is dedicated to fighting for his king. He’s really not a likeable person but is a brilliant soldier. When Richard meets Honor something clicks. Her family is against any match between them and sends Honor home. Richard follows her and they meet in secret and eventually become engaged.

But then tragedy strikes days before their wedding and Honor sends Richard away. I won’t tell you what the tragedy is but it’s a good twist and changes Honor’s life forever. It’s rare to find a novel told from the point-of-view of a person in her situation. Continue reading

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Review

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier review
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080380, 441pp

I just re-read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the first time in a long time and it’s still an amazing read. It made me into a Daphne du Maurier fangirl all over again. Sometimes when I re-read a book I feel differently about it but with this book I was left with so much appreciation of Daphne du Maurier’s skill as a writer. Rebecca is truly a masterful piece of writing. It’s easy to see why this book has become a classic that has never gone out of print. Continue reading

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy Review

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy review
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, ISBN 9780241341339, 275pp, June 2018 Penguin English Library edition

If you’re looking for a classic that’s great fun, swashbuckling and has a mysterious hero at its heart then The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is the book for you. Where else can you find a group of dashing Englishmen led by the Scarlet Pimpernel who rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French revolution and say things like “Zooks!,” “Demmed excitable little puppy” and “Odd’s fish.”

The beauty of this book is that no one knows the identity of the dashing Scarlet Pimpernel, but the French are desperate to find out who has been performing these miraculous rescues that make them look like fools. After each rescue they find his calling card marked with a red flower, the Scarlet Pimpernel… Like the French agents, the reader has to guess the Scarlet Pimpernel’s identity. Continue reading