“Don’t Look Now” by Daphne du Mauier
A married couple on holiday in Venice are caught up in a sinister series of events. (via Goodreads)
I am super glad that A.) I have a fairly bad memory and B.) I’m incredibly tolerant of spoilers. Electric Lit’s comment on this story and its literary monster completely gives away the twist.
Earlier this month, I finished du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca. It was, to my recollection, the first of her works that I’d read. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with the story, but I had an inkling that I might like her other works. She definitely has a flair for setting and atmosphere which go a long way with me. As my reading plans would have it, I had two du Maurier stories on my slate: “The Birds” (a Lunar extra selection) and “Don’t Look Now” from the Obscure Literary Monster’s list. Since I was eager to follow-up, I picked “Don’t Look Now” as part of my Readathon festivities. (*And* Jay had just read it from his Deal Me In list, which also whetted my appetite.)
John and Laura are a couple on holiday in Venice. They have recently suffered a loss; their young daughter Christine died of meningitis, and John desperately wants everything to go back to normal. The vacation really isn’t working until they encounter a strange set of twins. The twins are older ladies, one of them blind and reportedly a psychic. Laura is comforted by the blind twin “seeing” Christine happy. John, a skeptic, is not a fan of the sisters. For him, their message is more dire: he has some psychic ability himself, and he and Laura should leave Venice immediately. If only people in Twilight Zone-esque stories would heed the blind psychic… Since I didn’t remember the spoiler at all, I had no idea exactly how this story was going to end, but I figured there would be more to it than Laura leaving Venice to tend to their ailing son.
Great story and I’m looking forward to “The Birds”.
Publishing info, my copy: from Don’t Look Now, hardback, Doubleday, 1974