Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Somehow, I was completely unaware of the classic gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier until I began blogging. After the first review I read, I was intrigued, but after reading The Thirteenth Tale (one of my favorite reads of 2008, which alludes to Rebecca), I decided I HAD to read this book! Carl's RIP III Challenge was a perfect push for me to pick it up, and I'm very glad I did!

From the back cover:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." So the second Mrs. Maxim De Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant--the sinister Mrs. Danvers--still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

I don't do well with scary stories, but this was just the perfect amount of creepy to be enjoyable, but not to keep me up at night. I immediately felt a connection with the narrator (who remains unnamed) as she a bit awkward, a bit plain, but who has good common sense, good manners, and an imagination. Of course, I was extremely curious about what happened to Rebecca, how she died, and why Max and others acted so strangely about anything relating to her. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, gave me the utmost creeps--thanks to the vivid physical descriptions of her by du Maurier. I didn't figure out the mystery until the very end, and I was quite surprised! I would definitely recommend Rebecca to those who enjoy gothic literature or to those looking for a chilling, suspenseful read that isn't gory or too scary. (Also, I read the majority of this book during the October Read-a-thon, and this was a perfect book to read for long periods of time.)

Date completed: October 18, 2008
# of pages: 380


Wendy said...

I recently read this book too - and loved it! Creepy, beautifully written, classic...what more could a reader want for??!? *laughs*

Nymeth said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed it, Laura! And I envy the fact that you got to read it spoiler-free. Unfortunately I'd watched the movie, so I knew the solution to the mystery all along.

Dar said...

Hey Laura, I didn't completely read through your review as I really want to read this one soon but did see that you liked it. Like you I was unaware of this novel until I started seeing it in the blogs. Now it's on my must read list.

cj said...

Now that you've read the book, which is one of my favorites, it's time to watch the movie. Both are amazing pieces of work and the movie was cast so amazingly well and staged beautifully. It's worth the time to watch.


Di said...

I recently DVR'd this movie on TCM (my favorite movie commercials) and started watching it yesterday. How weird is that?

Of course, you can just see the haunting Laurence Olivier as Maxim. And Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers will just give you chills.

Laura said...

Wendy-my thoughts exactly! I would like to read more by du Maurier!

Nymeth-too bad you didn't get to enjoy the book completely for the first time--I really try to avoid movies before reading the book. Sometimes, I'll see a movie, not knowing it was based on a book!

Dar-isn't the blogging world great? I hope you like it as much as I did!

CJ-I will have to find a copy of the movie to watch. This is the perfect time of year to watch such a movie too!

Di--I'll have to pay attention and see if the movie comes on TCM again--that way I wouldn't have to pay for it! :)

Corinne said...

This book was fantastic. I"m so glad you liked it!! The movie was good too :)

Trish said...

I need to read this one!! I may have to borrow your copy next year if I can't get my hands on my own. It amazes me that I had never heard of this one until you mentioned it a few months ago--now I see it everywhere!

Anonymous said...

great review... and I've linked to it on my review which you can read HERE if you want.