‘Daphne’ by Justine Picardie: The Infernal World of the Lost Boy

I have finished reading this book at last.  It isn’t a particularly lengthy book, neither was it tedious.  The reason it has taken me so long to read is that I was savouring every page!   That’s quite unusual for me, I like to gallop through a book when I’m really enjoying it – and I did enjoy this!

daphne by justine picardie, a jolly good read
daphne by justine picardie, a jolly good read

Picardie’s extensive research really pays off.  There is an air of authenticity about the book, the sense of the author being in the ‘know’.  I like the way that the story is told from three very different perspectives, and two different points in time.  I have read Du Maurier’s ‘rival’s book by Winfred Gerin, and never realised that they were in direct competition with each other.  I think I shall have to read ‘The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte‘ and ‘Branwell Bronte  again to compare them.  I have them both but  it’s a long time ago since I read either of them.

Last night I dreamed I went to Mandelay or was it Menabilly?
Last night I dreamed I went to Mandelay or was it Menabilly?

I could almost smell the mildew on Emily’s notebook and the obsession and desperation of the disgraced Symington.  The marriage between the girl  (now I come to think of it, her name isn’t mentioned either by Paul her husband who calls her ‘sweet girl’ or his ex wife Rachel, who refers to her as ‘my assistant’) and Paul seems a little bit surreal and gets off to a bad start by the ex wife’s Rachel’s only too  real presence.   This could be likened to Max De Winter’s dead wife interference with his new young wife….(and I can’t recall her name either).  But there the similarities end,  as the outcome of each marriage differ: one overcoming obstacles and even death (battling with a ghost whose presence is kept alive by Danvers), whilst the other ends with both partners outgrowing each other (thanks to the presence of another ‘ghost’, this one very much alive: ex wife Rachel!)

branwell bronte, the lost boy
branwell bronte, the lost boy

I wasn’t too sure about the J M Barrie connection and the Lost boys though.  I mean there IS a real connection with Du Maurier’s family but I don’t think the extra twist was really needed.  In my opinion, Branwell is the real Lost Boy and seems destined to be eternally irretrievable.  Loved this book though and shall be reading more by this author!

Warning: this book is a page turner!  try to slow down and savour the experience.

More Bronte Bites from me HERE;

York Break: Haworth still wuthering after all these years

Will the REAL Charlotte Bronte PLEASE Stand Up!

Back in the Picture

Watched: ‘Most Haunted’ The Black Bull Haworth: Tales of the Much Expected

Dear Reader I READ it ‘The Bronte’s Haworth’ by S R Whitehead

12 thoughts on “‘Daphne’ by Justine Picardie: The Infernal World of the Lost Boy

  1. Liked your review–Daphne is one of my favorite books from this year, so it’s nice to see others savoring it as well. I liked the JM Barrie thread because I thought it added another dimension to the Branwell story, which is actually pretty pathetic imo, and the Peter Pan subtext softened that a bit. This book got me on a duMaurier/Bronte binge that I haven’t come out of yet.

    1. Your right Jane about the Branwell bits that came to nothing (like the poor man himself). But wouldn’t it have been great if after all, his genius had been unearthed! That Charlotte had conspired with Gaskill against him (and Emily had stolen HIS novel). Alas, the truth is always a disappointement lol! There’s a bit of Symington in me that still hopes he wasn’t as bad as he was painted! Hehehe NEVER come out of that Du Maurier/Bronte binge, you know it’s the only way to go lol!

      1. >Charlotte had conspired with Gaskill against him (and Emily had stolen HIS novel

        I wouldn’t be surprised to read a novel with this plot within the next five years!

  2. Hi
    I think perhaps I should try to get hold of this book I dont norma;y read modern fiction unless its a parody as most of the modern novels I have read have been depressing ,, eg the reader ,girl with a pearl earing ,perfume ,,I might check the Parsonage as our only remaing bookshop in Keighley has just closed ,,,if not it will have to go on my amazon wish list ,I will mention it to my friend too

  3. I think I got mine off Amazon BUT you have just alerted me to something I THOUGHT I posted. It’s a review of Chris Firth’s book ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barbers Tale’, which was still in drafts. I will post it on Bookstains now. I bought this book in the parsonage in Haworth. The story is set in Haworth and really focuses on Branwell – its fab! You should be able to get both books from there 🙂

  4. Hi
    I bought it I was brousing ebay for fabric and remembered I was after this book ,,Its next to me on the bed ,I got it yeterday and resisted reading it for a few hours but now I am hooked ,I shouldnt be reading it ,,My main Whitby dress isnt started yet and becks is not quite finished and we go in 12 days, ,But the book keeps leading me astray ,,,

    1. Great! It’s a page turner isn’t it 🙂 I bet you will have read it by the time you go to Whitby. I like the way the story is told from different points of view – real time travelling 🙂

    1. Love the Barbers Tale! It really invokes the flavour of Haworth in a past time I thought. Fascinating read and a highly enjoyable tale which I hope you enjoy 🙂

  5. Hi
    I finished the book ,I dont want to spoil it for others who may not have read it so I will try to be cryptic ,,but though I loved the book I found the ending really traumatic , It never occured to me such treasures could lost forever ,its a very plausible explaination for the missing book

    1. Great! You made short work of that book Lyn 😀 Yes, traumatic ending but really enjoyed the Symington narrative which made it seem it all the more plausable. Great tale 🙂

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