Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finished Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier yesterday. We read this for our mystery book club as a classic mystery selection. Actually we were to pick any Daphne du Maurier book but we will discuss Rebecca.

One of my favorite all time books is Wuthering Heights. I read this as a teenager. I saw the mysteriousness in it at the time more than the romance. I also have seen the movie many times - the original 1939 movie. Rebecca is the same style of book - gothic romance. But I had a harder time of reading this book although I enjoyed it.

I have seen 1940 Rebecca several times also. Again, I like the ghostliness of it, for lack of a better word. I had never read the book.

I love the story and the twists and turns. Even though I have seen the movie, I guess I had forgotten the surprises and was easily steered in the wrong direction as to who was doing what to whom. The ending was a surprise to me.

The story is told in the first person but the new, second wife of  Maxim de Winter, owner of the famous estate Manderley. We never know the name of this person that tells the story. I kept thinking I missed it somewhere. The newlyweds come home to Manderley after a honeymoon in Europe to the stern housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. The heroine is young and unexperienced in this life style and becomes more and more suppressed by the presence of  Mrs. Danvers. The first Mrs. de Winters drowned. Maxim is prone to dark moods and the heroine feels she can do nothing right. 

As the tale is told, there are several major twists and surprises that will keep you wanting to know what really happened at Manderley.

As I don't read this style of writing anymore, I did have a hard time getting through it. It is over 400 pages and very descriptive, which can lose me a lot of the time. The actual book I checked out had a bonus section of Ms. du Maurier talking about how she wrote it, how she chose and didn't chose the names of the characters and what her thought process was during the writing of Rebecca. I found that very interesting.

I will admit I did not realize that Daphne du Maurier wrote several of the Hitchcock classics. I am a big Hitchcock fan too. You may already know this but she wrote:
The Birds
Don't Look Now
Jamaica Inn



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