In this group biography they are considered side by side, as they were in life, three sisters brought up in the hothouse of a theatrical family with a peculiar and powerful father. This family dynamic reveals the hidden lives of Piffy, Bird & Bing, full of social non-conformity, creative energy and compulsive make-believe, their lives as psychologically complex as a Daphne du Maurier plotline.
Being an admirer of Daphne du Maurier's writing, having read her books, and treasured them, I was really looking forward to meeting the sisters. Well, meet them I did! Wow, Jane Dunn, doesn't leave anything to the imagination concerning the du Maurier sisters. This was my problem with the book itself. It is far too detailed, almost to the extreme. Not only does Dunn cover the birth to life aspect of all three women which I commend, she includes far too much, ie, weather, detailed fashion clothes, she covers the parents and the grandparents, psychosocial attributes to the du Maurier line. It is an enjoyable read but I could have done without the analysis of tiny tidbits that could have been edited out. The reader can draw their own conclusions.
Her writing style is simple and succinct which is good, especially in a group biography attempt. I would have enjoyed photographs in the book but I read an online version, so maybe that's why. If you want to learn about the 'entire lives' of each sister, including food habits, and the grandparents lives as well, sit down and get ready for quite the familial read! I would probably only give this one three stars!
The book cover is a Group portrait of the Du Maurier sisters with their dog Brutus by Frederic Whiting (1918). From left to right: Daphne, Jeanne and Angela
Francis Walsingham, the ruthless protégé of the queen's Principal Secretary, Sir William Cecil, intercepts a coded message from the Knights to a Countess known to have Catholic leanings. He is convinced that Clarenceaux is trying to use the document to advance the cause of the Catholic Queen.
And soon Clarenceaux enters a nightmare of suspicion, deception and conspiracy. Conflict and fear, compounded by the religious doubts of the time, conceal a persistent mystery. Where has the document gone? Who has it and who really took it? And why? The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking: and Clarenceaux's journey towards the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also the discovery of himself
NOTE: In lieu of the FTC review situation all three books were provided as online reading by NetGalley. My opinions are solely mine and I stand by them.