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The Birds & Other Stories - Daphne du Maurier It never really occurred to me that Daphne du Maurier would have written anything of particular interest to me but then I heard about this collection of "chilling" stories, I thought I should give it a go. And I'm very glad I did.

It is a long time since I saw Hitchcock's "The Birds" but, judging by the introduction, that's probably just as well. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this story, it had a great apocalyptic feel to it and a sense of hopelessness and despair for humanity, despite the father's desperate efforts to save his family.

Only three of the six stories here had anything supernatural about them (and I'm including "The Birds" in those three). Of the remaining three, two were romances that had a dark twist at the end and the last story "The Old Man" had a great twist turning the reader's perspective on it's head at the end.

My favourite of the collection though is "The Apple Tree". A story of an old man who initially feels liberated from his tiresome wife when she dies, then gradually becomes obsessed by an apple tree in his garden that somehow reminds him of everything he didn't like about his late wife. Daphne handled this one masterfully, leading the reader to sympathise more with the Husband at first but gradually shifting this in his wife's favour as the story progresses.

A great introduction to her work and definitely leaves me wanting to read more.