93 books like My Cousin Rachel

By Daphne Du Maurier,

Here are 93 books that My Cousin Rachel fans have personally recommended if you like My Cousin Rachel. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of In Her Wake

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

As a writer I admit that I’m beguiled by Cornwall as a literary setting for high romance and adventure, yet it’s important to me to remember that ordinary people live and work there. 

I was impressed by In Her Wake because it manages to encompass both extremes. Its overarching gothic narrative about a stolen child is used by the author to examine the extraordinary experience of some very humble, loving people whose lives have been put into suspension by tragedy. It’s incredibly moving and truthful.

By Amanda Jennings,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In Her Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A perfect life ... until she discovered it wasn't her own.

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella's comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family - and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to…


Book cover of Notes from an Exhibition

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

This novel has everything in it that I love about Cornwall – the life and work of its artists, an incredible sense of the scenery and atmosphere, and the limpid light cast over its beauty. 

It’s also an absorbing story about the price that may have to be paid for following your star. Successful artist Rachel Kelly values creativity and self-expression, but all too often she places these above the happiness of her partner and children. Is she right or is she wrong? 

By Patrick Gale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Notes from an Exhibition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The new novel from the bestselling Patrick Gale tells the story of artist Rachel Kelly, whose life has been a sacrifice to both her extraordinary art and her debilitating manic depression. When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and adult children have more than the usual mess to clear up. She leaves behind an extraordinary and acclaimed body of work -- but she also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage it will take months to unravel. A wondrous, monstrous creature, she exerts a power that outlives her. To…


Book cover of Coming Home

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

I often write about the Second World War, particularly the roles of women in it. Cornwall is another love, my father being Cornish.

The landscape and the culture have made a huge impression on me and when I read Coming Home I thought, yes, this novel was written for me.

It’s the coming-of-age story of Judith Dunbar. When still a young girl her mother leaves her with an elderly relative near Penzance in order to join Judith’s father in Singapore. After this relative dies Judith has to fend for herself, but is increasingly drawn into the orbit of the charismatic Carey-Lewis family of Nancherrow House. Through her relationship with them she experiences passionate love and betrayal as the storms of war are gathering on the horizon.

This novel completely absorbed me. 

By Rosamunde Pilcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coming Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For Judith Dunbar, her first glimpse of Nancherrow, her friend Loveday's beautiful family estate on the Cornish coast, is love at first sight - after the rigours of boarding school it spells luxury. She falls in love, too, with all Loveday's family. They treat Judith as one of them. With their generosity and kindness, Judith grows from naive girl to confident young woman basking in the warmth of a surrogate family whose flame of love and affection burns brightly.



But it is a flame soon to be extinguised in the gathering storm of war. In the danger and deprivation of…


Book cover of Zennor in Darkness

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

Zennor is a tiny village perched on the cliffs of Cornwall’s rugged north shore and battered by Atlantic storms. I’ve often visited it, have run my hand over the legendary mermaid chair in its little church and walked the cliff path, which Virginia Woolf reported doing once at night, a dangerous event that inspired Dunmore’s novel. 

Zennor in Darkness is based on a true story. D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda settled in a remote cottage on the cliffs during the First World War. They were regarded with suspicion because Frieda was German and the couple kept an irregular lifestyle – were they in fact enemy spies?  Their story is tenderly told through the eyes of a young local artist, Clare Coyne.

Dunmore writes beautifully, with lucidity and a suspenseful air.

By Helen Dunmore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zennor in Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They stand by side on the rock, facing out to sea. They are hidden from land here. Even spies would see nothing of them.

It is spring 1917 in the Cornish coastal village of Zennor, and the young artist Clare Coyne is waking up to the world. Ignoring the whispers from her neighbours, she has struck a rare friendship with D.H. Lawrence and his German wife, who are hoping to escape the war-fever of London. In between painting and visits to her new friends she whiles away the warm days with her cousin John, who is on leave from the…


Book cover of The Rose Garden

Jody Hedlund Author Of Come Back to Me

From my list on time-traveling back to the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved reading time travel stories and gobbled up most of what I could find. Over the past few years, I decided that I wanted to try writing one for myself. After reading the books I’ve recommended along with others (including some having to do with the physics of time), I finally took up the challenge and wrote the Waters of Time series which combines my love of the Middle Ages, romance, and time travel all into one.

Jody's book list on time-traveling back to the past

Jody Hedlund Why did Jody love this book?

The main character of this novel travels back in time to 18th century Cornwall. The time-travelling element is beautifully done and swept me from the present to the past seamlessly and with such intrigue that I felt like I was struggling to adjust to the differences of the past with the heroine. The ambiance of medieval times stays with me and helped inspire me as I wrote my time travel book.

By Susanna Kearsley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rose Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able…


Book cover of Ross Poldark

Anna Thayer Author Of The Traitor's Heir

From my list on creating an ‘inner consistency of reality’.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although known more generally as a mum of four and teacher, I am also a lover of story (with a First Class degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, and a Masters of Education). According to Tolkien, an internally consistent reality should allow you to immerse yourself in another world so as to return to your own with refreshed sight. In this, he discerned between ‘the flight of the deserter’ (a criticism often levelled at sci-fi and fantasy) and ‘the escape of the prisoner’. These novels achieve inner consistency with sophistication and charm, allowing you to regain your courage, hope, and curiosity when you return to real life.

Anna's book list on creating an ‘inner consistency of reality’

Anna Thayer Why did Anna love this book?

It seems that there is no detail of life in the late 1700s and early 1800s that Winston Graham doesn’t know. From aspects of history, geography, social class culture, medicine, ship-building, mining… Graham is ‘The Man’. But he is also a composite storyteller, weaving a compelling, generations-spanning narrative that charts the turmoils and triumphs of Ross Poldark and his family. One detail that I love is the representation of genuine female experience in a mode that is not about feminist agendas; Graham writes his women with compassion and complexity, making them far more than the housewives and bodice-rippers characteristic of some historical fiction. Quintessentially English, but never rose-tinted, these novels are a treasure that deserve greater acknowledgment.

By Winston Graham,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Ross Poldark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of Ross Poldark features an afterword by novelist Liz Fenwick.

Ross Poldark is the first novel in Winston Graham's sweeping saga of Cornish life in the eighteenth century. First published in 1945, the Poldark series has enthralled readers ever since serving as the inspiration for hit BBC TV series, Poldark,

Returning home from grim experiences in the American Revolutionary War, Ross Poldark is reunited with his beloved Cornwall and family. But the joyful homecoming he had anticipated turns sour; his father is dead, his estate derelict, and the girl he loves has become engaged…


Book cover of Ready Or Not

A.A. Chaudhuri Author Of The Final Party

From my list on whodunnit thriller set in idyllic locations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love writing about the dark side of human nature, and the devastating secrets and resentments that can simmer beneath the surface between friends before reaching boiling point in the most dramatic and sinister way.  It’s a theme pivotal to my latest thriller, which sees friends reuniting in a beautiful yet isolated location for the seemingly perfect celebration, but where things go horribly wrong. I enjoy exploring this topic through multiple characters, all with their own dubious backstories that stir suspicion in readers’ minds and keeps them guessing, while the settings I use play a key role in enhancing that sense of unease and tension conducive to the classic whodunnit.

A.A.'s book list on whodunnit thriller set in idyllic locations

A.A. Chaudhuri Why did A.A. love this book?

I really enjoyed this clever Young Adult whodunnit mystery centering on three families reuniting for their annual summer holiday in Cornwall.

When one of the teenage daughters goes missing following a game of hide and seek, her doting, yet secretly envious, best friend tries to piece together what happened.

The story is told between present and past events, but also through letters written by the main protagonist to the missing girl, phrased in such a way I wasn’t quite sure how much or little she really knew about what happened to her friend, which elevated the mystery.

The families are brimming with resentments, tensions & jealousies, heightening the intrigue and potential culprits, but what I loved most was the hugely unexpected denouement. A very clever twist I didn’t see coming!

By Tracy Darnton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ready Or Not as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Shared family holidays at Creek House have been the backdrop to Millie's summers since forever. Hanging out with the other kids - Matt, Charlie, Jem and her best friend Kat - has made it her favourite time of the year.
But this holiday things are different - the childhood games that once filled their days have lost their appeal to everyone except Millie. It's not until the final night that the others agree to a game of hide and seek. But in the time it takes Millie to count to twenty, Kat vanishes.
One year on, and struggling to come…


Book cover of A Year of Marvellous Ways

Anna Chorlton Author Of Cornish Folk Tales of Place: Traditional Stories from North and East Cornwall

From my list on capturing the magic of Cornwall.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write about the places, folklore, nature, and above all the magic of Cornwall. I have lived in Cornwall most of my life, I learned to crawl along the rockpools of Cornish beaches and I went to school in a moorland village. Now, I live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and write in the Cornish wilds, I live close to both the moors and the sea. I began writing for Cornish folklore project Mazed in 2013 and I have been retelling Cornish Folk Tales and writing poetry and stories inspired by Cornish folklore ever since. 

Anna's book list on capturing the magic of Cornwall

Anna Chorlton Why did Anna love this book?

Ninety-year-old Marvellous is a river goddess, her whole being is immersed in a Cornish creek, she lives in a caravan beside the water and loves a swim.

Marvellous lives on in my imagination. Nature is an organic part of the novel, time and seasons move with the tide; the reader knows it is spring because the ransoms (wild garlic) are out. I love rivers, they wind their way into my own writing, West Looe River is often my muse as a poet. 

I met Sarah Winman when I stumbled upon her book signing at my local bookshop. I only had enough money to buy Marvellous Ways or shoes to wear to an awards ceremony that evening. I realized no one would notice my old shoes so I bought the book and loved every page.

By Sarah Winman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Year of Marvellous Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS is the unforgettable and completely captivating new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT.

Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she's taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it.

Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying…


Book cover of The Cornish Captive

Joy V. Sheridan Author Of The Lamorna Reach: A Cornish Saga

From my list on a sense of history, oppression and exploitation.

Why am I passionate about this?

The collection Little Musings, available on Amazon, covers several decades of Joy's work as poet and painter. It touches on many aspects of her life, including the loss of her mother, in Do Not Mourn Her and Loss - Double Rainbow. Her childhood was spent in Plymouth, and in A Plymouth Girl Reflects, she recalls the aftermath of the air raids. Being in close proximity to Cornwall, that area also a major theme here, especially in Newquay, Cornwall, and On Air, By Melancholy. Four of the poems, "Absent Friends," "Isle of Thanet," "At Jim's Cafe," and "Captain Ahab of Thanet" are focused on the Thanet area of East Kent, where Joy now lives.

Joy's book list on a sense of history, oppression and exploitation

Joy V. Sheridan Why did Joy love this book?

The Cornish Captive makes a powerful portrayal of abduction and imprisonment, as well as describing the forces of mental stress under the elemental pressures of Cornish life of that time. Cornish society then was unbelievably brutal. I identify so strongly with the sufferings of any sensitive soul under those conditions.

By Nicola Pryce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cornish Captive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sixth novel in a stunning series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, perfect for fans of Bridgerton

Cornwall, 1800.

Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit mad houses. When a strange man appears out of the blue to release her, she can't quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.

Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner…


Book cover of The Little Country

Nancy M. Bell Author Of Laurel's Quest

From my list on magic and myth in our everyday lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love horses and I love the magic that exists in the world. I have always been drawn to both. My maternal grandmother had the ‘second sight’ as they called it, and I have inherited that from her. My books and poetry reflect my sincere belief that magic and wonder are alive and well and that we need to nourish them by acknowledging their existence in our everyday lives. The miracle of life, the sun rising and setting every day, the dance of the stars and moon across the sky, the glory of the northern lights—who can claim that isn’t magic? 

Nancy's book list on magic and myth in our everyday lives

Nancy M. Bell Why did Nancy love this book?

de Lint creates a magical mix of myth and reality that is totally believable, his characters stay with you long after the book is done. The glowing mists of magic lingering long after the pages are closed. He makes you wonder if what you think you saw out of the corner of your eye is actually real. 

By Charles de Lint,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Celtic folk musician Janey Little discovers a secret manuscript in an old attic trunk, strange and frightening things begin to happen. Janey’s perilous story, and the one she is reading—about spunky adolescent Jodi Shepherd, beset by the witchery of the evil Widow Pender—expertly weave two separate plot threads. A steadily mounting tension makes two small seaside villages in Cornwall come alive with danger, magic, and mystery. One of de Lint’s best-loved novels, The Little Country is a fantastic escape dealing with ancient standing stones, the power of music, and the warmth of true friendship.

This Triskell Press e-book contains…


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