I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
One of the most beautifully written books I've ever disliked. And let's be clear - my 3 stars is my attempt at objectivity, because it is a beautifully written book, and I did dislike it. A lot.
From the first sentence there's no doubt this story is dripping with dark, forbidding, gothic atmosphere. By the second page, it's swimming it in. By chapter 2, it's drowning. I don't know if du Maurier was trying to pad out a short story, or if she just really wanted to make sure her readers knew this was going to be a dark, dreary, forbidding story; either way, too much of a good thing is still too much. There might have been some skimming.
I liked Mary well enough, but I was unable to muster any sympathy for poor Aunt Patience; I really just kept hoping someone would push her down the stairs. I do not much like enablers any more than I like those they enable. Still, I was really getting into the plot (once I deep dived through all that atmosphere), until I got to the part where Mary meets the vicar.
At that point, I was truly just reading to get 'er done. There was no way the book was going to surprise me from that moment on.
Aaannnddd then there's the ending. I liked Mary until that point. Hell, I liked Jem until that point. Now, I think they both deserve a horrible ever after. She should just change her name to Patience and be done with it.