Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 8, 2009

The Scapegoat, by Daphne du Maurier

I’m nearly finished War and Peace, and more than half way through The Inheritance of Loss, but when I found The Scapegoat on the shelves here at the Moorview B&B in Metung, I didn’t hesitate.  I thought I’d read everything she wrote – how nice to be wrong, and what a treat to read!

scapegoat1The Scapegoat put me in mind of Janet Lewis’s The Wife of Martin Guerre, the tale of a man whose physical resemblance enables him to take the place of another, but in Du Maurier’s hands it is transformed into a compelling mystery and a psychological study every bit as good as Rebecca.  When the dull academic Englishman John has his belongings and identity stolen by Jean, Comte de Gue, he decides that he has nothing to lose by taking the Comte’s place, and he is transformed by the experience.  Where the cynic Jean has only contempt and indifference for his family, John comes to care for them, and all lives are altered as a consequence. 

It is a wonderful book that has stood the test of time as any other book by Du Maurier.  I shall look out for a copy of my own to keep at home.       

And now I shall get back to The Inheritance of Loss (for bedtime reading) and War and Peace in the morning before breakfast!


  1. […] Wittgenstein&# x2019;s Nephew (Ms. SP) 2. kpss 3. Lisa Hill 4. Vivienne (Serendipidy) 5. The Sun Also Rises (Lisa Hill) 6. A Short History of Tractors in […]


  2. […] best.  I’ve read Rebecca (of course); Jamaica Inn; Frenchman’s Creek; The Scapegoat (see my review); The Flight of the Falcon; and The Parasites; and I’d recommend them all, but Rule Britannia […]


  3. […] (Daphne) du Maurier reviews: Booker Talk, Jamaica Inn (here) Brona’s Books, Jamaica Inn (here) Brona’s Books, My Cousin Rachel (here) ANZLitLovers, Rule Britannia (here) ANZLitLovers, The Scapegoat (here) […]


  4. […] The Flight of the Falcon (1965).  Here on the blog there are reviews of Rule Britannia, (1972) and The Scapegoat (1957).  But in paperback and Kindle I have these five still to read, (the first four graphically […]


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