Review of ‘The Rendezvous and Other Stories’ by Daphne du Maurier

You can’t go wrong with a Daphne du Maurier story collection. There will be twists, suspense, mystery, atmosphere… and people being cruel to each other. Most stories in this book include characters who are violent, selfish or uncaring. Interestingly, the book was published in 1980 and is a mix of early and later stories. It’s not quite as good as The Birds and Other Stories but is definitely worth a read, more than once.

Book cover is light red and shows a gun on a table.

The best story is the last one, ‘Split Second’, which is about a genteel lady who feels strange, goes for a walk, and comes back to find her house occupied by other people and no one in the neighbourhood knows her. Is she a victim of a conspiracy, or mentally unwell, or is something supernatural going on?

I like ‘Adieu Sagesse’ very much, in which a man whom everyone dismisses as boring decides to sail away. ‘Leading Lady’ is quite amusing, about an actress who uses her excellent skills to ensure that her lover gets the lead part. ‘Escort’ is quite a different kind of read, a supernatural story about the Navy in the Second World War. ‘The Closing Door’ is a sad, impactful story with a cruel twist.

The title story, ‘The Rendezvous’, is not one of my favourites, but it’s a sophisticated story about a famous author who mistakenly thinks a female fan, with whom he corresponds by post and has arranged to meet, has romantic intentions.

This edition published by Virago, 2005, with an introduction by Minette Walters.

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