The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier

Start with the (unbelievable) premise that two identical looking men, one an English scholar of French, the other a decadent and weak French count with a complex family/business/lovers situation, meet one night, and after a drinking binge, change roles. The Englishman, who’d been at a low ebb in his life, wakes up with all his belongings and car gone. But he has a devoted manservant waiting to take him to his fate. This scapegoat falls into the count’s lofty and complex life with a weird bravado, and readily takes on the man’s family as his own, messing with their lives as the head of household and changing the struggling family business. Is this a moral tale? A fairy tale? Good reading.

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