Skip to main content

Review: The House on the Strand, by Daphne Du Maurier

The House on the Strand is a lesser-known book by Daphne DuMaurier, the woman who gave us Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. Here she interweaves past and present together in a novel that is just as rich as anything she has ever written.

Magnus Lane is a professor at the University of London, who has created a potion that can send you back in time. He uses his friend Dick Young as a "human guinea pig" to test its effects. Dick finds himself thrust back into the days of the 14th century, in the days of Isolda Carminowe and Henry and Otto Bodrugan, who lived in the exact place in which Dick has decided to vacation. Dick follows the knight Roger Kylmerth, and finds himself becoming more and more involved with the manor lords of the 1320's- with an almost disastrous effect upon himself and his family in the present time.

It is a novel in which past and present run at parallels with one another, and even almost collide. Its a haunting book, sinister in fact, in which time matters a great deal; a book which points out the fact that sometimes the present time is indistinguishable from the present. Its power will haunt you long after you have closed its covers.

Comments

Great review! I've only read Rebecca, but this really makes me what to read her other work. This novel definitely sounds like a novel I would really enjoy.
Teddy Rose said…
Wonderful review! This one has been on my TBR for quite some time.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…