ISBN-13: 9780062080349
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: November 2011
Format: Paperback, 224 pgs
Source: Personal Library

After reading Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and loving it, I decided to read The Doll, a compilation of short stories she had written during the early 1930s. I understand that many of the short stories in this collection were published in periodicals way back then and it is only at this time that they have found their way into print.

While reading The Doll: Short Stories, I couldn't help comparing this to Rebecca as the latter had left quite a deep impression on me. I don't think I'd ever forget the narrator's tone, or the creepy housekeeper, Mrs Danvers. With that in mind, I started reading The Doll with great anticipation. I have also read from other reviews that this collection is much darker and this has further raised up my hope a little.

The first story, East Wind, tells a dark story of once a peaceful, isolated island and how the residents' mind are influenced and brainwashed after the arrival of a ship outside their quiet world. This story left me speechless because I hadn't expected the cruelty towards the end. Nevertheless, this story reflects the frailties of human nature and the tragedy that comes with it.

Follow up next is the main story of its book title - The Doll. Thinking this story might be a talking doll or whatever, I awaited the horror to come with it but instead of the smug satisfaction which I had initially expected, I was blown away by the twist and how dark it can be when one is being obsessed.

However, this compilation is not all about darkness and madness, as The Happy Valley tells a story of one woman's strange dream and coincidence (or is it fate?). Another tale, Frustration, definitely left me feeling frustrated not because the story didn't engage me but on the contrary, it made me felt sorry for the couple who had made much efforts being together but well, misfortune and fate just got into their way. Tame Cat is another story that left an impression on me as it tells a story of a mother and her daughter who both share the same affection for the same man.

As for the rest of the stories, they showcase the various of relationships and how one reacted due to obsession, jealousy, unhappiness etc etc. Each of these tales explore the frailties of human nature and though I have to confess they aren't joyful tales, they reflect the emotions and how one would think and react under the circumstances.

These tales may not be as good or polished as compared to Rebecca, but I enjoy reading Daphne du Maurier's writing style and the dark, brooding atmosphere she created in most of her works. Now I can't wait to read Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel, which I heard they are equally good as Rebecca.
3 Responses
  1. Ryan Says:

    I loved this collection. I'm new to her writing this year, actually I just read Rebecca a few months ago. Part of me actually liked the collection better than the novel, because of all the different themes involved.

  2. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds like an interesting collection. I do want to read Daphne du Maurier's work.

  3. Melody Says:

    Ryan - I'm new to her writing as well. I loved Rebecca and I can't wait to read the rest of her books!

    Naida - It is. :) I can't wait to hear your thoughts when you get to them!

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