Amy Reads Books

Parasites (Virago Modern Classics)

The Parasites - Daphne du Maurier Despite loving du Maurier, I had never heard of 'The Parasites' until I discovered it in a local second-hand book store. Despite not really having a clue what this novel was about, it really cemented my belief that sometimes reading a novel by a favourite author can be a really wonderful experience, and that is certainly true of my reading of this novel.'The Parasites' begins with the Delaney siblings; Maria, Niall and Celia, being in Maria's marital home with her husband Charles. When he suddenly pronounces the three of them to be 'parasites', it triggers an afternoon of remembrance for the three siblings, each putting forward their own individual perspective on the events of their past as being the children of two incredibly famous performers. All three of the central characters are fascinating; Maria, the daughter of 'Pappy' and another woman, who spends her life acting various parts, Niall, the son of 'Mama' and another man, who is arguably the most spoilt of the three, but also one of suffers most with inner demons and Celia, the true daughter of both famous parents, who devotes her life to caring for others, despite her own pains. I will admit to feeling for Celia the most, not least because Maria and Niall's close-knit, verging on incestuous but never quite reaching any kind of action, relationship excludes all others, including their half-sister and even Maria's husband.Du Maurier's prose throughout the novel is seriously beautiful, bursting with descriptions that range from sweeping descriptions of foreign countrysides to the claustrophobic house at Farthings where Maria lives or the home that Celia shared with her father. The story of the Delaneys combined with her prose kept me really, truly gripped to the book. This novel should really be more well known, in my opinion, and I'm really looking forward to reading 'Hungry Hill' the next unread du Maurier novel I have on my shelf.