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Daphne
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If The Spirit Moves You sold 70,000 copies and Wish I May sold 25,000 copies, in hardback Daphne sold over 4,000 copies (BookScan). For fans of The Hours, Possession and Map of Love as well as Susan Hill's The Woman in Black and the novels of Daphne du MaurierRebecca was one of the most powerful and haunting novels of the 21st Century and the Hitchcock film is a classic.

Picardie's well-researched novel about Daphne du Maurier is sure to send readers scurrying back to all those books they should have read in college. Du Maurier's works are referenced, as is her fascination with the Bront¿ family. Toss in Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie and various members of the rare book and manuscript community, and you have an intriguing fictionalization of many intertwining literary lives. The novel is written from the perspectives of du Maurier, manuscript curator J.A. Symington, and a nameless researcher, with each of their stories spiraling upon the other to create a century-spanning novel hidden in lucky coincidences and missing papers (including those of the Bront¿s). The result is an absolute gem of a novel that will be a hit with fans of du Maurier, the Bront¿s, and British fiction generally as well as the avid bibliophile. It should serve as an excellent book club selection that may prompt an interest in these literary figures. Highly recommended.--Leann Restaino, Girard, OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

About the Author

Justine Picardie is the author of If the Spirit Moves You, the novel Wish I May and most recently, My Mother's Wedding Dress. She is also the co-writer or editor of several other books. She was formerly the features editor of British Vogue and is now a columnist for Harper's Bazaar and the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Reviews

Picardie's well-researched novel about Daphne du Maurier is sure to send readers scurrying back to all those books they should have read in college. Du Maurier's works are referenced, as is her fascination with the Bront¿ family. Toss in Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie and various members of the rare book and manuscript community, and you have an intriguing fictionalization of many intertwining literary lives. The novel is written from the perspectives of du Maurier, manuscript curator J.A. Symington, and a nameless researcher, with each of their stories spiraling upon the other to create a century-spanning novel hidden in lucky coincidences and missing papers (including those of the Bront¿s). The result is an absolute gem of a novel that will be a hit with fans of du Maurier, the Bront¿s, and British fiction generally as well as the avid bibliophile. It should serve as an excellent book club selection that may prompt an interest in these literary figures. Highly recommended.--Leann Restaino, Girard, OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'A divine treat for lovers of literary mysteries' Kate Saunders, The Times 'Compulsively readable ... elegant and absorbing ... Daphne takes the reader on a journey of undiluted pleasure' Spectator 'An intelligent, absorbing mystery story, a real tour de force all bookworms will love' Daily Mail 'A beguiling and addictive novel that weaves different strands of the literary legacy of Daphne du Maurier and the Bronte family into a superb literary thriller ... it is constructed with a dazzling simplicity and draws you in uncontrollably ... this all adds up to a delicious piece of literary sleuthing ... a deeply involving and emotional story that beautifully conjures up the atmosphere of Daphne du Maurier's paranoia and her discomfort with family history ... This is a supremely enjoyable novel' Sunday Express

Former British Vogue editor Picardie (My Mother's Wedding Dress) gives us a fictional life of Rebecca novelist Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) that founders in obsession. In the late 1950s, du Maurier, determined to establish herself as a serious writer, researched and wrote a biography of Branwell Bronte, the often-overlooked real-life brother of sisters Emily and Charlotte. Flash forward to the present, in which a nameless graduate student seeks out lost secrets about the relationship between du Maurier and John Alexander Symington, the Bronte expert and curator to whom du Maurier dedicated her eventual Bronte book. Picardie's novel quickly becomes a tangle of redundancies, as the student, in one plot line, grows increasingly obsessed with du Maurier and loses touch with reality. Meanwhile, in another thread, du Maurier and Symington both flirt with madness in their separate Branwell quests. Du Maurier's fictional characters, especially Rebecca, haunt the story unproductively, as do the Brontes, Bronte protagonists, and Barrie's Peter Pan and the Lost Boys (who were inspired by du Maurier's cousins). Picardie does best with Symington, whose career ended in scandal: she portrays his dissolution coldly, letting observations rip in a way she never quite manages with the fictive Daphne. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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