Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Doll - Review

About The Doll

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Original edition (November 22, 2011)

The lost stories of Daphne du Maurier, collected in one volume for the first time.

Before she wrote Rebecca, the novel that would cement her reputation as a twentieth-century literary giant, a young Daphne du Maurier penned short fiction in which she explored the images, themes, and concerns that informed her later work. Originally published in periodicals during the early 1930s, many of these stories never found their way into print again . . . until now.

Tales of human frailty and obsession, and of romance gone tragically awry, the thirteen stories in The Doll showcase an exciting budding talent before she went on to write one of the most beloved novels of all time. In these pages, a waterlogged notebook washes ashore revealing a dark story of jealousy and obsession, a vicar coaches a young couple divided by class issues, and an older man falls perilously in love with a much younger woman—with each tale demonstrating du Maurier’s extraordinary storytelling gifts and her deep understanding of human nature.

About Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) has been called one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Among her more famous works are The Scapegoat, Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, and the short story The Birds, all of which were subsequently made into films, the latter three directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Young Daphne du Maurier photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

My Thoughts
The Doll is so much more than a collection of short stories. It is like stepping back into time and watching a master storyteller grow up and develop her talent.

I am a long time fan of Daphne du Maurier. I read Rebecca in high school and have read many of her novels through the years. While Rebecca is one of the most famous my favorite is My Cousin Rachel, I have read it at least three times over the years.

At the time these stories were written du Maurier would have been in her twenties, the age where we explore the world and our own feelings. As I read these tales I couldn't help but wonder how such a young woman could possibly know so much about love, especially it's darker side.

While all of the stories in The Doll are well written they seem a little bit rough around the edges to me. But that is what makes this collection so fascinating, we get to see a developing talent at work. One story, Tame Cat, although not a single feline is present in the story, tells of a young girl celebrating the joy of finally being a grown up. But joy may not last when another's expectations are revealed.

If you are a fan of Daphne du Maurier you will find this book fascinating and very enjoyable. If you have never read any of her works this is a great place to start. I very much recommend The Doll to everyone.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. I have not been compensated for my review, all opinions are my own.


  1. Thank you for this book review. I think it would make a very nice Christmas present... for me! :-)

  2. i have never read her books and did not know she wrote The Birds which is the only one I have seen. her photo reminds me of my grandmother, she looked just like that in her wedding photos from 1923

  3. Wow! I didn't know that she wrote "The Birds"! That's one of my favorite Hitchcock movies! Funny that I recently picked up a copy of "Rebecca" at a Goodwill for only 50 cents! I have never read it! I'll be sure to keep my eye out for this book; sounds interesting!

  4. I looked this book up on Amazon after you mentioned it awhile ago, and it does look very good. And I do like short stories. I may order it, I was waiting to read what your opinion was.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your book review. Like those before me, I didn't know she wrote the birds. That fact along with your review have triggered my interest. I will definitely be adding this book to my reading list. Thank you.

  6. This is another great book review. You always intrigue me. :) She sounds like a talented writer.

  7. I like the idea of going back to her earlier works and seeing how her talent developed over time.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.


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