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Manderley forever : a biography of Daphne Du Maurier
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2017
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  Library Journal Review

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was a successful author; most famous for her novel Rebecca and short story The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock turned into the film of the same name. Despite her achievements, du Maurier never received the respect she deserved as a writer, often labeled a romance novelist, an inaccurate description she despised. Best-selling author de Rosnay (Sarah's Key) recognizes du Maurier's writing talents and had an affinity for her novels from a young age. Her English/French background has parallels to du -Maurier's. The translation is an excellent read that discusses many details such as du Maurier's unusual attachment to her father, her close bonds to her sisters, her kinship with France, and her bisexuality. Despite success, du Maurier's life was not easy. Her dedication to her writing left her initially estranged from her children and put major strains on her marriage that led to adultery by both parties. This well-researched work includes correspondence, memoirs, and insight from du Maurier's children as sources. VERDICT Although the last 20 years of the author's life do not receive as much attention, this outstanding biography will attract du -Maurier devotees of all ages. [See Prepub Alert, 10/17/16.]-Erica -Swenson -Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll. Lib., -Media, PA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

De Rosnay, author of 10 novels (Sarah's Key, 2007) offers a biography of her literary heroine, whose 35 works include Rebecca (1938) and many other international best-sellers. She embraces parallels between her subject's life and her own, beginning each chronological section with a first-person account of her 2013 pilgrimage tracing du Maurier's homes. A compelling subject, du Maurier's life was filled with complex relations with her famous father, her sisters, her boarding-school mistress, her houses, her daughters, and even her own desires to be a boy, which she personified as Eric Avon. Her relationship with her writing, however, rose above all others and also her wifely and even unapologetically maternal duties. Regardless of many obsessions, du Maurier felt most like herself when writing. Her books often took on difficult and dark subject matter despite du Maurier's being labeled a romance writer. De Rosnay's thorough biography allows readers to see the fullness of this often underrated writer's life.--Dziuban, Emily Copyright 2017 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

A familiar portrait of the prolific British writer.Fiction writer de Rosnay (A Paris Affair, 2015, etc.) claims that Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca (1938) exerted an indelible influence on her work. When a friend suggested that she write the first French biography of du Maurier, she took on the challenge, deciding to follow in the writer's footsteps in England and France to discover "the secrets of her life, her inspiration, her work." De Rosnay offers only brief accounts of her travels, beginning at the Terraces, near Regent Park, where her subject was born; continuing to the village where the teenage Daphne went to boarding school and began an affair with her young headmistress; to the coast of Cornwall, where Daphne walked; to Menabilly, the writer's beloved home and prototype of Manderley, where de Rosnay's effort to visit was rebuffed; and to Kilmarth, her last home. All of these sites, though, hardly yielded secrets. Instead, de Rosnay draws largely on du Maurier's autobiography, letters, and several fine biographies. She adds little to the already available material; this book's distinction is its presentation in present tense, since de Rosnay aims to describe her subject "as if I were filming her, camera on my shoulder, so that my readers could instantly understand who she was." This strategy, however, does not convey any more intimacy or revelation than a more conventional authorial voice. Besides chronicling her subject's successful writing career, de Rosnay reprises her family life, marriage, motherhood, and contradictory sexuality. Homophobic, du Maurier denied that she was a lesbian, but as a child, she invented a male alter ego, Eric Avon, that she felt was her true identity. When she met the virile Tommy Browning, she "shivers" at the "masculine contact" of his kiss. She married him and relegated Eric to a box. He emerged, "sparkling and resplendent," when she became infatuated with several women. An average biography. Jane Dunn's Daphne du Maurier and Her Sisters (2014) takes a more capacious and satisfying look at the life. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p> The nonfiction debut from beloved international sensation and #1 New York Times bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay: her bestselling biography of novelist Daphne du Maurier. </p> <p>"It's impressive how Tatiana was able to recreate the personality of my mother, including her sense of humor. It is very well written and very moving. I'm sure my mother would have loved this book." -- Tessa Montgomery d'Alamein, daughter of Daphné du Maurier, as told to Pauline Sommelet in Point de Vue </p> <p>As a bilingual bestselling novelist with a mixed Franco-British bloodline and a host of eminent forebears, Tatiana de Rosnay is the perfect candidate to write a biography of Daphne du Maurier. As an eleven-year-old de Rosnay read and reread Rebecca, becoming a lifelong devotee of Du Maurier's fiction. Now de Rosnay pays homage to the writer who influenced her so deeply, following Du Maurier from a shy seven-year-old, a rebellious sixteen-year-old, a twenty-something newlywed, and finally acantankerous old lady. With a rhythm and intimacy to its prose characteristic of all de Rosnay's works, Manderley Forever is a vividly compelling portrait and celebration of an intriguing, hugely popular and (at the time) critically underrated writer.</p> <p> Manderley Forever is a nominee for the 2018 Edgar Award for best critical/biographical work.</p>
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