Book #06

The Breakthrough by Daphne du Maurier

Dispatch the maimed, the old, the weak, destroy the very world itself, for what is the point of life if the promise of fulfilment lies elsewhere?

On the windswept coast of rural Suffolk, a deranged scientist attempts to extract the essence of life itself.

A frightening blend of science-fiction and literary fiction; a tale of researchers crossing the borders of science into a dark supernatural place. 

The plot is succinct and fast-paced, with our protagonist finding himself questioning his work and his morals, before the horrific finale. Du Maurier’s prose creates such a gloomy and unsettling atmosphere, a feeling that nothing good can come of what we’re seeing. It really was exquisite, and I loved the gothic undertones.

There’s a lot of ambiguity here, and although I would have liked this to have gone on longer, with more character exploration and more scientific tweaks, I don’t truly feel any more plot would’ve been a benefit. The skill here comes from the questions raised on ethics, on ambition, and on how we treat others to achieve our goals.

My first Du Maurier, and an excellent starting point. Maybe it’s time I finally read Rebecca.