Daphne du Maurier on The Reading Life
Born: May 13, 1907, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 19, 1989, Fowey, United Kingdom
Not long ago I read a very well done biography of Daphne du Maurier Manderlay Forever by Tatiana Rosnay. She talks a lot about the theatrical work of her parents. She mentions the novel The Parasites as the one work which draws most directly on this aspect of the family life showing what it might have been like to have very famous actors as parents. Rosnay cautions that this is not one of du Maurier's best works.
The main characters are the three children of the family. The father is only loosely based on her father, he is more a singer and a dancer than a stage actor. The children are called "the parasites" as they make their way through life living from the money and fame of their parents. We see them develop from children and we see their mother die and their father's health and vigor greatly decline. Du Maurier interestingly shows us how the children's upbringing shaped them as adults.
I am glad I read this book but those new to du Maurier need to read her more famous works first.