Saturday, 9 January 2010

Book review: Justine Picardie's Daphne


I recently finished reading this book, which took my interest due to the reference to Branwell Brontë. The book relates to part of the life of Daphne du Maurier, more specifically the period 1957-1960 when she was doing research for her book on Branwell Brontë The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë. Daphne became fascinated by Branwell Brontë and started a correspondence with J. A Symington.

The book is fiction but is based on a true story. It tells Daphne’s story during that period on the one hand, the story of Symington who replies to Daphne’s letters on the other hand, but also the story of a young woman in present-day London who also became fascinated by this correspondence and was trying to write a dissertation on du Maurier and the Brontës but was struggling with it.

The structure of the book seems at first strange, but once you get to know the characters involved, it becomes easy to read and as a reader you are drawn into these three different sides of the story.

I liked the book very much and I think all Brontë and du Maurier fans will also like reading it.

Marina Saegerman

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