Pages - 397
First published in 1938
Challenges - RIP challenge and 100 books challenge.
I really should have written a review for this book before I went on holiday, as my brain seems a bit hazy about it nearly two weeks after. That will teach me to be more prepared.
Rebecca follows the story of a very young bride married to Maxim De Winter. The bride's name is never revealed throughout the book and this only adds to her transparent existence beside the first Mrs De Winter, Rebecca who is dead, but very much alive in the house and the memories of the staff in Manderley. This book follows the bride's struggle to take Rebecca's place. The more she tries to show her love for Maxim, the more the ghost of Rebecca haunts her and lays obstacles in her way.
I will be honest and say that I did not enjoy this book as much as I did Jamaica Inn. I thought it was good, but there were two points within the book which really niggled me.
Firstly, I found the relationship between the young inexperienced bride and the much older Maxim De Winter, extremely creepy. He was old enough to be her father and throughout the beginning of the book, he often treated her like a child. I don't enjoy reading about relationships like that. Marriage is about equal partnerships and this marriage irritated the hell out of me.
Secondly, I found the bride to be such a weak character for most of the book, that I could not warm to her. I felt she needed to toughen up in order to stand up to the ogre, Mrs Danvers. The most enigmatic character in the book was dead and I found that annoying.
These two areas spoilt this book for me. I know a lot of people say that this is Daphne Du Maurier's best book, but I really preferred Jamaica Inn.
Don't get me wrong, I thought this was well written book and it gave off a real sinister air, which I liked. Daphne Du Maurier was exceptional at writing Gothic story lines. There is all the terror and suspense expected in this type of novel, as well as the old, hauntingly sinister building. The atmosphere of the book was fantastic and believable and I did find myself jumping at the slightest noise surrounding me.
The characters in the book appear to have certain characteristics, yet by the end of the book you realise you have misinterpreted them and they are not what they seem. Rebecca's real character was quite surprising by the end and you can see why her demise would happen. Rebecca was very good at blinding and dazzling the people around her, then playing them as pawns in a game of chess. Even the evil, Mrs Danvers, who doted on Rebecca, was just another person to play with. Rebecca reminded me of a cat playing with its prey before it killed it.
If you love Gothic books, then do read this. I don't want to put you off with my particular points of views. I liked it, I just didn't love it and for me Jamaica Inn will stay in the number one slot for the best Daphne Du Maurier book that I have read so far. Bearing in mind, these are the only two I have read, I might not be the best judge of Daphne Du Maurier books.
Now I know a lot of you will probably moan at me, as this is one of your favourites. I don't mind you trying to change my opinion. So go ahead and let me know what you thought of it.
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