Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Author:  Daphne du Maurier
First published in 1938 by Victor Gollancz

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

After reading The First Wife (our joint review), I decided to give Rebecca try.  I knew I had seen the movie a long time ago, but had never read the book.  It's one of those classic books that you know you should read at some point, but never get around to it.  After finishing the book, I know why I should have avoided it.  I didn't really like it.  I have seen rave reviews over this book, but I just don't get it.  It's like me and Gone with the Wind.  I hated the movie and have no desire to read the book ever.  I didn't understand the appeal and thought Scarlett O'Hara got what she deserved.  But, I digress.

The main character in the book is never named, except as Mrs. de Winter.  She is the second wife of Maxim.  She marries him after knowing him for a couple of weeks and is swept off to Manderley, his estate. There she meets the formidable Mrs. Danvers who was devoted to the first Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca. Honestly, the first 80% of the book drags.  I found the narrator to be whiny and annoying.  I was a bit taken aback at her reaction to what happened to Rebecca.  I won't spoil it just in case you haven't read it or seen the movie.  Let's just say, I would be running for the hills.  

I think this is one of those books that you either like or you don't.  I can see why it would have been a popular book in its time.  It is kind of scandalous.  Today, not so much.

1 comment:

Dorothy Borders said...

This was one of my favorite books - as were all of Du Maurier's really - when I was growing up. And I still love it. Sorry you didn't get it.