My first time reading a Daphne du Maurier (even though I have a degree in ENglish!). Her writing style and descriptive technique and character development that was sufficient without being over done. Because I speak French, and have visited the French countryside where this took place, I could easily relate to the setting and characters. However, fellow book club members had a more difficult time understanding the characters.
"Someone jolted my elbow as I drank and said, 'Je vous demande pardon,' and as I moved to give him space he turned and stared at me and I at him, and I realized, with a strange sense of shock and fear and nausea all combined, that his face and voice were known to me too well.
I was looking at myself."
Two men; one English, the other French; meet by chance in a provincial railway station and are astounded that they are so much alike that they could easily pass for each other. Over the course of a long evening, they talk and drink. It is not until he awakes the next day that John, the Englishman, realizes that he may have spoken too much. His French companion is gone, having stolen his identity. For his part, John has no choice but to take the Frenchman's place as master of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a large and embittered family, and keeper of too many secrets.
Loaded with suspense and crackling wit, The Scapegoat tells the double story of the attempts by John, the imposter, to escape detection by the family, servants, and several mistresses of his alter ego, and of his constant and frustrating efforts to unravel the mystery of the enigmatic past that dominates the existence of all who live in the chateau.
Hailed by the New York Times as a masterpiece of "artfully compulsive storytelling," The Scapegoat brings us Daphne du Maurier at the very top of her form.
I have found Daphne du Maurier to be a master storyteller. Her complex characters with engrossing dialogue kept the pages turning until the very end. Her fantastic prose allows you to feel what the characters are feeling and you can immediately imagine that you are in every scene along with the characters. I found the plot to be tension-filled, fascinating and soul searching. I have read Rebecca before and found this one to be just as intriguing. I look forward to reading more of du Maurier's books and highly recommend this one to those who have read Rebecca.