I had just missed out seeing a film on Daphne du Maurier being shown on TV and it seemed such a coincidence that the next morning this was on librarian's picks! The blurb said fiction based on a true story with a lot of help from the family. That was good enough recommendation for me.
The book seems to work simultaneously in two or rather three sections. Daphne working on the Brontes particularly Branwell Bronte - her research into his life and work and finding hidden information on him. The second story shows her very low - depressed and haunted by her husband's infidelity and his love affair with another woman, his subsequent breakdown and her own mental state getting more fragile by the day. The third shows a student trying to do her P.hd set in more modern London.
There is a lot of fact in the story. So much information not just on the Du Maurier's but also on Alex Symmington from whom she tried to get information for her book on Bramwell. She was also related to the Lleweyn Davies boys who inspired Peter Pan. The factual was wonderful reading and more than adequate for the whole book though some degree of fiction was also present which was superfluous to the story.
Daphne's story in itself was so informative and so full of a story in itself it would have been more than enough.
Though the story of Branwell is well known the author builds up the story that I felt till the end that something was going to be discovered - a hitherto unknown piece of literature that I had not heard about and that was going to be on par with his sister's writing. That was not to be..
A well written book with a lot to give the Du Maurier lovers!