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The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier


DDM Reading Week 8-15 May, 2023, hosted by heavenali is in full swing. Liz Dexter at Adventures in reading, running and working from home is collecting your reviews (under link). I started the week by reading The King's General, and continued with The Parasites. This is also a re-read, and I don't remember too much of it. I read it ages ago, and the only thing I do remember is that I found the three "parasites" rather irritating. This was not my feeling the second time around. Since I read it for the first time, I have read and reviewed many books, and it probably, and hopefully, has given me a possibility to see the novel in a new light.


The three main characters; Maria, Niall and Celia are fascinating people to say the least. DDM has created a confusing family constellation with the Delaney family. The father, an opera singer, the mother a ballet dancer that rather dances other dances. Maria is the daughter of the father, Niall the son of the mother, and Celia the daughter of both the Delaneys. The parents travel around Europe and take the children with them on their tours. Rather egoistic parents, who are totally dedicated to their arts. The only calming and constant person in their lives is the Truda, who helps out with the children, and everything else of practical kind that needs to be done.


The narration is somewhat confusing since it goes, rather irrationally, from person to person. But, somehow it works very well, since it follows the parallelle lives of the three siblings. The novel starts when Charles, the husband of Maria, tells the siblings they are nothing more than parasites. The comment makes them look at their own lives, their up-bringing, and their actions, trying to be honest with themselves. We get flash backs of their upbringing, of the action of their parents, and their own.


It is a fascinating story. The three siblings have inherited the artistic veins of their parents. Maria becomes a famous actress, Niall composes popular songs, and Celia is good at drawing and writing. She is the one that might have the toughest burden, to take care of their father when the mother dies.


As we reach the end and the siblings have come to the point where they admit that there might be something wrong with how they live their lives, there is some hope of change. However, their egoism, and the habits of a life time, is difficult to beat.


This time around I really loved the book, and am happy that I decided to re-read it. I found the story and characters fascinating. The irritating I felt the first time, was not there. Maybe, because I am older, and life teaches you things. One can have opinions on the characters, but I am more interested in the author's ability to build such characters. It seems she was inspired by her own time in the theatre world, and possibly from her own family. It is in the end a book I can highly recommend.



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Convidado:
15 de mai. de 2023

Wonderful, I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much the second time. It did take a minute to get to grips with the narration, I think because there was a "we did this, we did that" aspect and then dipping into each of the three's point of view (so I thought there were four of them for a minute). I'd like to re-read in the future knowing how that works from the start! (Liz)

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Convidado:
14 de mai. de 2023

I so need to read more by her, I have only read (and enjoyed) three so far. Nice review! Emma @ Words And Peace

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