Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Daphne du Maurier

From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: "The moss smelt rich and deep, and the bluebells were earthy, bitter. I lay down in the long grass beside the bluebells with my hands behind my head....I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone. How commonplace and stupid it would be if I had a friend now, sitting beside me, someone I had known at school, who would say, 'By the way, I saw old Hilda the other day. You remember her, the one who was so good at tennis. She's married, with two children.' And the bluebells beside us unnoticed, and the pigeons overhead unheard. I did not want anyone with me. Not even Maxim."

I just finished reading The Scapegoat by du Maurier, too. The plot seemed implausible (two identical-looking men switch lives) and at first I didn't think I was going to like it. But her details are so rich and the characters so convincing that I was borne along and ended up loving it, and believing it. I didn't realize that she also wrote the short story, The Birds, that was made into the Hitchcock film. To me, she has the introspection of someone like Virginia Woolf, but she also has this compelling sense of suspense that sweeps me through her books and makes me want to to re-read them, more slowly.

1 comment: