The House on the Strand
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
The House on the Strand is a novel by Daphne du Maurier . First published in 1969 by Victor Gollancz , it is one of her later works.
Like many of du Maurier's novels, The House on the Strand has a supernatural element . It is concerned with the ability to mentally travel back in time and experience historical events at first hand - but not to influence them.
It is set in and around Kilmarth (where Daphne du Maurier lived from 1967) near the Cornish village of Tywardreath , which in fact translates from the Cornish language as "House on the Strand".
My choice of my latest Daphne du Maurier book was The House on the Strand. Once again, just the fact that Daphne’s books all seem to happen in Cornwall helped me choose this one. That and my “sis” was born in Cornwall and I get all sorts of gorgeous pictures when she goes there.
So.. I can’t say I really knew what this was about when I began the book. I read the first chapter and found myself saying, “wtf?”. I had no idea what I had just read or what it was going to be about. But my “sis” said it was once one of her favorite books.. I would try another chapter.
The second chapter slightly cleared up the “wtf” by my finding out that this man had taken a drug that took him back in time where he saw “history” in the form of others who lived in the house and area when he was now residing.
I kept reading and eventually I got into enjoying the book. I really like that she describes areas of Cornwall and uses the names of places so that you feel you are really there. Although I don’t know many names of places when Tintagel Castle was mentioned a smile whipped across my face as fast as lightening. Then I was sure I knew why my “sis” loved the book so much because she really loves Cornwall and so did Daphne du Maurier.
I want to say again, that I enjoyed the book. However, and I can’t believe I’d even say “however” when it comes to Daphne du Maurier, I was not thrilled that I didn’t know our main character well “before” we got into the “past”. And to be honest I never felt I knew him and I am a big character driven reader. I wasn’t thrilled with the “mode of time travel” being a drug either… but considering how Dickens and others always spoke of the Opium used in England it really comes as no surprise.
Overall, it really is a good book. And if you like du Maurier this would be a must read on your list. I’m not sure what my next du Maurier book will be…but I do know there will be another. So far I’ve only read 3: Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and now House on the Strand. Probably Frenchman’s Creek for my next du Maurier. Probably.