Daphne du Maurier keeps coming through when I need a new audiobook to listen to. Another compilation of her short stories. Let’s see how this collection goes…
Don’t Look Now
Ooh, I really enjoyed this story. A married couple are vacationing in Venice, Italy. They come across strange elderly twins. The wife has a small conversation with one of the sisters. The other sister is blind, but has the gift of Sight. That sister saw the couples dead daughter sitting between them at dinner.
It’s a strange little tale. You never fully have a grasp on what is happening. Especially as the husband becomes paranoid about the sisters. It’s an eerie story. And the ending made me guffaw a teensy bit. The husband’s words were just so unexpected.
Not After Midnight
A schoolteacher is vacationing in Greece when he encounters a strange American couple. The husband tries to befriend the schoolteacher by informing him that the cabin he (the schoolteacher) is staying in was previously occupied by a man who drowned. The schoolteacher, not being too superstitious, brushes the guy off. But he does become curious.
Another story I rather enjoyed. And talk about a nice little twist at the end! But it did leave me with a few lingering questions. Which seems to be du Maurier’s forté.
A Border-Line Case
Sheila is 19 years old when her beloved father dies. She is the only one in the room when it happens and the expression on his face terrified her. While going through her father’s things, she becomes interested in knowing what happened between him and his best friend years ago. Sheila tracks the old friend down in Ireland and purports to visit him.
Sheila comes up with a lie to gain access to the reclusive friend, Nick. She pretends to be a journalist but he quickly figures out that she’s lying. Nick and Sheila are attracted to each other and Sheila is heartbroken when he sends her back home. That is until weeks later when the truth finally clicks in and she realizes why her father had that expression on his face when he died.
Ew!! Ha! I knew it!!! Talk about a shocking little story. I knew the twist as soon as Nick mentioned a little tidbit about his past. It was so obvious! Now, I’m low-key grossed out
The Way of the Cross
A group of tourists are spending a day in Jerusalem. This story recounts their various experiences.
This is more of a character-driven story. There are the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. There’s the little boy, Robin, traveling with his grandmother. There’s also the Vicar, in charge of leading the group. And a slew of other characters.
Huh. I think I liked the story. It was just so different I was confused when I finished listening to it. There were a few strange things that happen. But the lack of super eerie overtones threw me off haha. Robin was my favorite though. That little boy has a good head on his shoulders.
Steve is asked by his boss to go help one of his colleagues on an off-the-books experiment. Steve reluctantly agrees. While he is initially reluctant to stay on the job, he changes his mind when he sees the work being done.
This was a bit more of a science-fiction tale. The implications of the work being done are a tad frightening. Transferring consciousness to a robot. Or, something like that. It was strange, but I got the gist of it. I think. The ending confused me though. I listened to it twice and I still don’t understand its meaning haha.
Daphne Du Maurier is the queen of lingering suspense. I absolutely enjoyed these stories a lot more than the last collection (The Birds and Other Stories).
Favorite story? It’s hard to narrow down. But I guess I would go with A Border-Line Case. It was just so scandalous. Least favorite? Didn’t have one 🙂
While each story is different, they all have a hint of mystery. It’s the conclusions that really does it though. By the end of the story, you’re never quite sure you have a full grasp on everything that happened. Hm. I think I’m starting to understand her writing a bit better now.