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8. The Breaking Point Daphne du Maurier Breaking Point

Summary: This is another book with a lot of short stories. I'll break it down again by story.
"The Alibi" A man gets bored with his life and decides he wants to go out and mess up somebody else's life. He knocks on the door of a random house only to find a foreign woman with a son living alone. He asks to rent a room in the house and reluctantly she lets him. Instead of killing her and her son like originally planned, Mr. Fenton takes up painting.
"The Blue Lenses" A woman is in the hospital recovering from eye surgery. She is waiting to get the bandages removed so she could see again. But once the bandages are removed, she finds that she can't see people's real faces. In their place are animal heads. She doesn't tell anybody but begins to freak out, wondering what exactly she got herself into.
"Ganymede" This one is hard to summarize but I can try. A man goes on a solo vacation to Venice. He meets a young waiter at a cafe and he falls for him in a way. He wants to care for this boy and give him things. He wishes to bring the boy he nicknamed Ganymede back to London with him but things don't go as well as the narrator wishes.
"The Pool" A young girl feels at one with nature. She prays at a pool on her grandparent's property when she and her brother are there for the summer. She wants nothing more than to stay by that pool. One night, she sneaks out and goes to sleep by the pool. There, she meets a woman at a turnstile waiting for her and others. She asks for a ticket, which Deborah, the young girl, does not have. She gets scared and runs back to the house. The next day, the pull of the pool is just too much for her to handle though and she has to face the woman.
"The Archduchess" In a small country of Ronda, we learn about its history. It used to be a big tourist country where people came to relax and get away from all things mundane. They had an Archduke who held the secret to eternal youth. Everyone was happy until two men, Markoi and Grandos, return to the country that banished them. They turn the peaceful country upside down with business and gossip which all leads to a revolution.
"The Menace" This story follows the career of an actor named Barry Jeans, nicknamed the Menace. He was a star in his time. His wife and crew of men lived a good life. Suddenly, Feelies are the new big style for movies. The Menace can't deliver and his Boys and wife freak out. They different things to get his performance up where it needs to be without telling him, but they all fall. The Menace meets up with an old friend from home and has a great night away from the others. Now, with everybody else freaking out, can the Menace make the grade?
"The Chamois" A woman's hisband pulls her away from a lovely vacation to go to Greece to find the Chamois. She is not thrilled as her husband drags her all over to find this animal which is the only kind he will hunt. She psychs herself up over a goatherd who is to be their guide. His eyes frighten her. One afternoon, she hears a gunshot. She runs around the mountain trying to find her husband only discover something else entirely.
"The Lordly Ones" Ben is a young boy who's parents don't love him. They brought him out to the countryside to try to get him to open up since he doesn't talk. He overhears his parents talk about the moors and thinks of them as a group of thieves. He leaves some food out for the moors on the grass so they won't break into the house. In the middle of the night he wakes up to see people outside eating the food. He ran outside and joined them as they wandered the countryside. Now he has to get used to life as a wandered with travelers who do not talk either.
"The Limpet" A woman, Dilly, details her life. She talks of how she was always looking out for others, never herself, but no one ever looked out for her. She talks about her parents, her ex-husband, the man she had an affair with among a few others. She tells of how she tried to help them but she never got anything out of it. Most wound up dying or leaving her and she can't understand why.

Review: Some of these were hit or miss. I did enjoy them all. There were times I was confused and other times when I felt the story was too long, but they were good. The stories all held my attention. Then again I might be biased since Daphne is one of my favorite authors.
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