Book Review: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

“She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment.”

Daphne Du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel

Title: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Genres: Classics, Suspense, Historical Fiction, Gothic
Length: 11 hrs, 57 mins (Audiobook)
Published: 1951

My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 1/11/2023 – 2/15/2023


This was a reread for me. I guess I never wrote a review the first time around.

My Cousin Rachel is one of my all-time favorite books. It has the same eeriness as Rebecca while being a completely different plot.

Ambrose and Philip are confirmed bachelors to the point where they don’t even keep women on staff. This changes when Ambrose goes to Italy for the winter due to complications with his rheumatism. There, he meets cousin Rachel. In a matter of weeks they are married, turning Philip’s world upside down in particular. He never sees his beloved cousin Ambrose again and he is sure Rachel is the one to blame. When word comes that Rachel is coming to England, Philip resents all thoughts of her, hanging onto a bitter image made by Ambrose’s last letters to him, but the woman who shows up at his door is the complete opposite. Soon enough, he finds himself as infatuated with her as Ambrose had once been.

I could honestly carry on for paragraphs and recite every step of the plot. This is a book I completely lost myself in several years ago and took months to finish never wanting it to end. I still took my time with this reread (which I chose to listen to on audio, brilliantly narrated by actor Jonathan Pryce) and I love it as much as it did the first time. My mind reels trying to figure out the mystery surrounding Rachel. One of Daphne Du Maurier’s finest works without a doubt.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The quiet suspense.
  • How much we get to see of Philip internally/his thought process.
  • The time and locations it’s set.
  • It’s a book that’s left me thinking about for years, trying to figure it out.

What I didn’t like:

  • Philip is a brat and it wears thin.
  • I wish we’d been able to see a little bit more of Ambrose.


I still adore this book. I go back and forth sometimes between this and Rebecca for my favorite Daphne Du Maurier book. Sometime (hopefully in the near future) I want to do a comparison to the newest film adaption but oof, I have some opinions.

Where to buy the book:

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