New York Review of Books, 2008
"I have a theory that each man's life is like a pack of cards, and those we meet and sometimes love are shuffled with us. We find ourselves in the same suit, held by the hand of Fate. The game is played, we are discarded, and pass on." (309)
In his introduction, Patrick McGrath notes that although Daphne Du Maurier's work has had great popular success, "during her lifetime she received comparatively little critical esteem." Du Maurier herself was "pained deeply" about being "dismissed with a sneer as a bestseller" rather than as a serious writer. If her popularity, her status as a "bestseller," or her reputation as a Romance novelist keeps people from reading her work in this collection, well, that's a shame. If you're tired of same old same old in your reading life, and you want a bit of shaking up, I can't think of a better book to recommend than this one, a fine selection of stories that should not go unread. The choice of stories in this book might be a little uneven, but for the most part, they're worth every second of time you spend not only reading them, but thinking about them long after you've turned that last page. This book might also provide a different perspective from which to examine Du Maurier as much more than simply the woman who wrote Rebecca.
If you're interested, and you want something off the beaten path, you can read what I have to say about this book here. I haven't said too much about the content of the stories, so very little of importance will be revealed. This is such a good book!