My Cousin Rachel by Daphne DuMaurier

my cousin rachelEvery once in a while I get a hankering for the classics.  Okay, I’ll confess — it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning and the only books on my shelf that I haven’t read are the classics.  So it was with My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier.

I’d loved the author’s Rebecca which I’d read many years ago, but somehow this one had escaped me. For those of you not already familiar with the book, it relates the story of Philip Ashley, whose privileged life on his ancestral Cornwall estate is turned upside-down by a sophisticated and mysterious older woman.  Orphaned at a young age, Philip was raised by his bachelor uncle Ambrose, who falls in love and marries while traveling in Florence.  When Ambrose dies under suspicious circumstances, Philip is determined to hate “his cousin” Rachel forever — that is until she shows up at the estate and Philip, too, falls under her spell.

If you enjoy historical fiction, and a little romance with your mystery, then this is a good fit for your late-night or rainy-day reading.

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

the-family-manRecently retired and living a quiet and elegant life on the Upper West Side in New York City, Henry Archer unexpectedly gets a second chance with his step-daughter, someone he hasn’t seen for 25 years. Somehow these opposites – Henry is older, gay, successful, Thalia is an aspiring actress just scraping by – make a connection that benefits them both. Thalia brings sparkle and excitement into Henry’s world, as well as more than a few complications including the reappearance of his eccentric ex-wife, an introduction to the world of celebrity and a new love interest.

Lipman is the master of the modern comedy-of-manners story – her characters are real and likable (even the annoying ones), and the dialogue is sharp, witty and fast-paced. The situations our heroes find themselves in may be unlikely, but Lipman grounds them in reality and gives them heart. The Family Man will keep you laughing and wishing for more.

DVDs for March

australia2March 3

Australia – Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman

An English aristocrat inherits a large ranch in the untamed wilderness of Australia. When English cattle barons plot to take her land she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover to save her ranch. Together they experience a cattle drive, a love affair and the bombing of their town by the Japanese at the beginning of World War II.milk1

March 10

Milk – Josh Brolin, Sean Penn

Based on the true story of the first openly gay man elected to a major public office,  Harvey Milk’s powerful journey inspired hope for equal rights for all. Sean Penn won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance.

rachael1Rachel Getting Married – Anne Hathaway

After being in and out of rehab for ten years, Kym returns to the family home to attend her sister’s wedding. Though friends and relatives have gathered for a joyful weekend of celebration, Kym’s passion for drama creates tension in the family.

Also coming out March 10Cadillac Records and Transporter 3

twilight1March 21

Twilight – Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson

Bella Swan moves to a small town in Washington where she meets the mysterious and handsome Edward Cullen, a boy who’s hiding a dark secret – he’s a vampire. Edward must battle the bloodlust raging inside himself as well as the undead that would make Bella their prey.

March 24bolt1

Bolt – voices of Miley Cyrus, John Travolta

Super-dog Bolt, the star of a hit TV show, is accidently shipped to New York City. His cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star becomes his biggest adventure yet where Bolt discovers that he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.

solace1Quantum of Solace – Daniel Craig

Betrayed by Vesper,  the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission peronsal. Bond and M interrogate Mr White who reeals that the organization that blackmailed Vesper and is far more complex and dangerous than anyone imagined.

March 31

marley1Marley and Me – Jennifer Anniston, Owen Wilson

A memoir of Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Grogan’s life with his yellow Labrador this is the heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.

Also coming out March 31Seven Pounds