My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne Du Maurier The question is whether Cousin Rachel is a temptress & murderess out for money or an impulsive, passionate misunderstood woman. Du Maurier leaves the final decision up to you, the reader, which is terribly frustrating!!! I just read a 300+ page book and THAT was the ending I was left with?As I read, I pictured a black-and-white movie by Hitchcock. In fact, some of the parts of this book reminded me of "Vertigo". When I looked it up on imdb.com, I discovered that this book had, in fact, been made into a movie in 1952, staring Olivia de Haviland as Rachel and Richard Burton as Philip Ashley. I'm an old movie buff, so it surprised me never to see that film or even know of it.Regardless, this is definitely a Gothic tale of love and mystery... It haunts you as you read it and after you finish it. It's the kind of book that's good for book clubs, because you NEED to discuss it with someone... ask your questions, put forward your thoughts and theories, and try to find a resolution that Ms. du Maurier doesn't provide.Many other reviewers here at Goodreads.com make good points. These particular points stand out to me:* Ms. du Maurier's characters often get what they want only to wonder if they're truly happy for having it.* The men and women never seem to fully communicate -- each holds something back from the other. As the reader, you just want to shake them and shout at them - JUST SAY IT!I'm sure there are many who believe Rachel innocent, based on the last few pages of the book. But cynic that I am, I don't believe it for a moment. The woman was a psychopath: Rachel did and said exactly what she knew the person she was with wanted her to say and do, so that she could manipulate that person in the long run to do as she wanted. There's plenty of proof in the pages of the book, and especially the way she played Philip.To me, the question is, did Philip kill Rachel? He certainly believes that he did. Philip knew that the bridge wouldn't hold - he was told so by the workman. Philip knew that Rachel would likely walk over the bridge during her walk. Ergo, Philip knew that Rachel would fall and be hurt, even if she wasn't killed. His conscience tells him that he's responsible for her murder. I'm not so sure... Regardless, Philip will never be free of her. She'll always haunt him, because he'll always have that guilt and a bit of doubt in his mind.Sad... lovely... haunting...