I was a bit disappointed by this book, as her other ones I’ve read (namely Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel) have been very good and really gripping. I kept expecting this one to pick up the pace and grab me, but it didn’t.

It is the story of Armino, an Italian tour guide, who sees his childhood nurse in Rome while he is with a party of tourists and later she is found murdered. He goes back to his birthplace to discover more about her life and what could have brought about its end. There he gets caught up in the tensions between rival university students and their preparations for a dramatic festival, and also discovers surprising secrets about his own family. The village also still seems haunted and influenced by its brutal 15th century resident Duke Claudio, also known as The Falcon.

I found the relationship between the brothers very interesting; one is very strong but seems to be bad and/or mad, and the other is not so strong but very moral and good.

The descriptions of Italy and Italian villages are lovely and romantic and inspiring, and beautifully described by Du Maurier.

As I say, this book is not as gripping or tense as her other works; it is an enjoyable read but not remarkable, I thought.

Edition Virago, 2006. Complete and unabridged text, with an Introduction by Amanda Craig. ISBN: 1-84408-070-6. PAPERBACK. 304 pages. Just light tan to paper edges. Other than that, the unread book remains in very good condition throughout: Soft cover intact; Frontispieces decorated with the author's signatures; Text all clean, neat and tight. Prompt dispatch from UK.
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