Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

2537053A fantastic novel.  I don’t know how I missed reading this one years ago, but I’m glad I picked it up when I did.  It was exactly the kind of book I needed this week – well written, engaging, at times dark and mysterious and at others a look at how lost a “silly” young girl can be when out of her element.  I’d seen bits and pieces of the movie version(s) on TV, so while I knew the premise of the story going into this, I didn’t know the twist – and it was a good one!  And who knew a housekeeper could be so terribly creepy?

Although the narrator was naive, needy, and sometimes not the sharpest tool in the shed, I found myself sympathizing with her.  She’s thrown into a world she knows nothing about, knowing that she will always be compared to her beloved predecessor.  Her main concern seems to be what others will think of her – she constantly imagines the conversations that the household staff or the town gossips will be having about her, and admits freely that it’s one of these imagined conversations that push her to go downstairs to the fancy dress party.  When she loses this towards the end of the novel, and gains some confidence in her position as mistress of Manderley, I think she lost a little personality as well; even Maxim bemoans the loss of her innocence and youth.

The way du Maurier can set a mood is wonderful, though.  It could be supremely creepy, have an underlying sense of danger, or, as it did for the last few chapters, make me a nervous wreck, right along with the narrator.  Loved it!

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One Response

  1. This was one of my favorite books as a teen. I haven’t re-read it in years. But should.

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