Venice in February: Don’t Look Now by Daphne DuMaurier

“Don’t look now,” John said to his wife, “but there are a couple of old girls two tables away who are trying to hypnotise me.” (pg 1)

In DuMaurier’s novella, Don’t Look Now, Venice is an eerie place, a bewildering maze, a place of confusing bridges and canals. John and his wife Laura are on vacation in the city trying to recover from the death of their young daughter, when they meet elderly twin sisters, one of whom is blind and claims to be psychic. Most of the story centers on John, who is dismissive of the psychic’s claim to see their daughter with them. But then mysterious events start to occur and I at least was wondering if John was going nuts or really saw what he thought he did – his wife alone in the town with the sisters, a child in need of help. To top it off, there’s a killer loose in Venice.

In all honesty, I started to read this before bed one night and decided to put it off until I could read it during the day. It’s not scary, but creepy. The atmosphere is oppressive and the feeling of danger is palpable, even if you can’t quite put your finger on what’s going to happen. The end is shocking but inevitable at the same time.

It’s a mesmerizing story, full of suspense and the nagging notion that reality is not as stable as we think.

4½ out of 5 stars

Venice in February  is hosted by Snow Feathers and Dolce Bellezza.

Category: Novella

Amazon | IndieBound

First published 1971
54 pages

Book Source: Library

14 Comments

  1. Gosh you have changed your look I suppose it was ages ago but as you know I have been away and although keeping up sort of via Google reader I have not called by for ages. It looks great I must find a new way of keeping in touch with GFC going for you soon. You have been reading lots of books with an Italian theme recently as well I see. I have so much catching up to do and a few titles such as this one to look out for.

  2. I love your ending thought, that ‘reality is not as stable as we think it is”. No one can mess with my sense of reality like Daphne du Maurier. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, much more than McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers which was similar. But, not.

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