my cousin rachel

4 of 9
By Daphne du Maurier
400 pages; Sourcebooks

The 20th-century British novelist Daphne du Maurier had a knack for both delivering romantic drama and giving readers the creeps (her novels The Birds, Rebecca and Don't Look Now were all acclaimed adaptations). The new adaptation of her 1951 novel, My Cousin Rachel, opening June 9, stars Sam Claflin as Philip, the inheritor of a large British estate who can't decide whether his godfather's widow, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), is truly in love with him or just scheming for his fortune. Director Roger Michell captures the gothic mood and puts the attractive pair through plenty of seductive poses, but du Maurier's true genius was her psychological insight, and the novel, written from Philip's point of view, dives deep into his confused feelings toward Rachel: "That warmth so unexpected, catching a man unaware and lifting him to rapture, then swiftly, for no reason, the changing mood, casting him back where he stood before."