Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Loving Spirit

Finished The Loving Spirit by Daphne Du Maurier. Published in 1931, it was Du Maurier's first novel. Set in Cornwall, it is a family saga ranging over four generations of the Coombs, ship builders in the village of Plyn. Janet Coombe has a tender love for her husband Thomas, but somehow knows that the great love of her life has not come to her yet. When it does it is not romantic love, but an extremely intense love of mother for son. While Janet has six children, it is her son Joseph who she forms this bond with. He embodies all of the wildness she felt as a girl and lives as she has always wanted to, but was unable to as a woman. At times their love and devotion to one another is uncomfortable in it's intensity. The story continues with Joseph, his son Christopher and then Christopher's daughter Jennifer. Each of these characters has their own section of the book. Each section begins with an excerpt of poetry by Emily Bronte. The story is vast, sweeping, dramatic and very engaging. One sees the shadows of obsession and destruction by fire that are played out later in Rebecca. I loved this book. I had to borrow it through an interlibrary loan. However, it is due to be reissued in paperback in May 2010.

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