Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Pub Date: 1938
Genre: Gothic, Classics, Literary Fiction
Etc: Allie’s ReadaLong
Much like the main character’s experience, the word and description of Rebecca began haunting my reading thoughts a couple of years ago. Many respected readers raved about this book, which eventually placed it on my TBR list. I shied away from it for some time fearing that my love for it would not reach the profound levels that it had to so many others. It is a dreadfully lonely place to be standing alone on an island ranting and raving about how miserable you were reading a loved book. I didn’t want to risk being alone on that island.
But, like other moments in my life, that delusion of hysterics was absolutely silliness.
I freakin’ LOVED Rebecca.
You wanna know why? Immediately upon opening the pages I had that feeling I often get with books that will become beloved to me: a feeling of comfort and familiarity. I’ve had that sensation while reading Pride & Prejudice, Emma, and Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre should not be surprising, since I recently found out that there were some comparisons to that classic. (I hit myself up the head once I realized the similarities).
Was anyone aggravated that we never found out our narrator’s name? I wasn’t. I have to admit, about a third through the novel I thought I might have overlooked it. (Names, as a general rule, never stick for me). After scouring the pages I realized that the narrator was identified outside of Mrs. De Winter. Interestingly, even though Mrs. De Winters never had an identity of her own, she was a believable character. I could picture her. She existed for me.
Oh, and Mr. De Winters. How I felt for the man. But when the end, the climax occurred, weren’t you shouting at him: Communicate you fool! I know I was. If there is anything to be learned from tragic romances is communication is key.
Wait and wait. Another aspect of Rebecca that I loved were the *evil* characters, those pesky little villains, like the crusty housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Wasn’t she a beast? But an understandable beast. Her love for Rebecca bordered obsessive creepiness, but she was fleshed out enough to truly understand why she despised the new Mrs. De Winters so much. (Oh and the cous’, yeah, he creeped me out too).
What a long-winded post this is.
Finally, I found some interesting facts about Rebecca:
- · The novel inspired three other works: Mrs. De Winter, The Other Rebecca, and Rebecca’s Tale
- · One edition of the book was used for code in World War II by the Germans. They would use the page number, line number, and word number to send messages. How smurfy is that?!
- · I guess there was a soap opera in the 1970’s called Dark Shadows that was inspired by Rebecca
- · There was a plagerism case made against Du Maurier where she won.