Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay
Published April 18th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Goodreads Summary: 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 a cantankerous 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.
“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
Review: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Admittedly I have never read a book written by Daphne du Maurier even though Rebecca has been on my TBR forever. So I was a little nervous going in to this biography of her. The few biographies I have read in the past of other people have been kind of hard for me to get through. This book couldn’t have been more different. Almost from the beginning I was hooked onto the way the author decided to write the bio. It felt more like a novel than the standard repetition of names, places, dates, etc. The book is divided into sections based on where Daphne’s main place of residence was. Because Daphne put so much stock into the places she stayed and went I thought this was the perfect way to go about it. The author did a marvelous job of transporting me to the time and place she was writing about so I felt very close to Daphne throughout the book. I loved seeing all of the connections that I never knew about. For example, the du Maurier’s are cousins of the Llewellyn-Davies brothers that J.M. Barrie based Peter Pan on. I also did not know that Daphne is the original author of The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock appeared to take several liberties with along with a few other pieces of Daphne’s work that he had adapted for the screen. There were so many things about this book that I loved that its hard to write about them all in one review. There were only a few times I found it to be a bit slow but overall I very much enjoyed reading this biography. I have since added many of Daphne’s works to my never ending TBR.