Daybreak into Darkness, Rupert Bogarde

By P-O Life readers


At the age of 21, shy Rupert Bogarde, nephew of English actor and writer Dirk, fell in love with a nurse a great deal more worldly than he. Jacquie loved France and the couple moved there, married and bought a ruined chapel near Perpignan to turn into a business.

Juggling restoration and building work with odd jobs, they eventually opened a holiday centre for young diabetics. With the birth of their two sons their dream should have been complete, but Jacquie had become obsessed with the business – working and partying for days and nights without sleep – while Rupert struggled to keep his family and marriage together.

A moving and haunting love story, and true to life account of Rupert and Jacquie over a ten year period.

The dream should have been complete but after suffering from depression, Jacquie suddenly disappears, leaving Rupert in a whirlpool of darkness, accusation and confusion. The search for Jacquie against a backdrop of family betrayals and tensions amid a police investigation takes one to the edge with Rupert. Above all this story is an observation of a relationship on fire, of love under duress. And like a stone falling in a calm pool the tragic effect of mental illness reaches out; no one is left untouched.

Rupert Bogarde’s memoir is poignant, touching and at times very funny. He writes with wit and affection of his life in the tiny community near Perpignan and with great honesty about the breakdown of his marriage and the ultimate tragedy of his wife’s disappearance.

Reviews from P-O Life readers

Maggie: A fascinating, funny, but tragic book. One of my favourite true stories. A must!!

Pamela: The book is written by Rupert Bogarde, nephew of Dirk, the actor. His wife’s body (Jackie) was eventually found years later. We knew Rupert as our daughter was the same age as his little boys at that time (over 20 years ago now) and we were working near Argelès. Sad story but he has remarried and now lives in Dorset.

David: I think the mystery was solved a few years back when her remains were found by walkers.

Ken: In the early 90s we knew a couple who lived near us in the Albères. He was the nephew of Dirk Bogard. His wife went missing. Later her car was found in Argelès. Then just a few years ago a walker found her body in the Albères mountains .

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