Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Title: Rebecca
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: Originally 1938 by Victor Gollancz

Amazon Goodreads

Synopsis: The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing 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.

Rebecca is a book that has been in my TBR pile for a very long time. I’m a big fan of Gothic romances and the creepy house with hidden secrets concept, one of my favorite books is Wuthering Heights after all. But I have been disappointed by a few Gothic novels in the past so I started Rebecca slightly worried but excited. I was quickly hooked and devoured it with ferocious desire to solve all the secrets and mystery. Right away into reading I was struck with the ominous tone of the story.

Much of the book had this sense of foreboding, like you could tell that nothing was as it seemed and that things were not going to end well. Plus like most classics and especially those written in the early to mid 20th Century Rebecca is written with elegant and beautiful prose that struck an emotional chord with me. However, more than that I was just incredibly excited to be reading a book that gave me a sense of creepy unease. Throughout most of the book I would find myself squealing in excitement when things got mysterious or dramatic. It was actually quite odd.

And much of the book was mysterious and dramatic. While the house of Manderly isn’t physically haunted, to our narrator she feels the presence of Rebecca everywhere and the secrets and mystery surrounding her death is a huge part of the story. As a person who prides themselves on an ability to solve twists (check out my discussion post for proof) I was surprised to find out that I didn’t predict much of the ending of this book. While the main secret was pretty evident very little else was obvious to me. And the constant shocking surprises made the book so enjoyable for me.

But much of what made the book mysterious was the characters. Our unnamed narrator (she is only kown as Mrs. de Winter) is just the vessel that allows us to get to know a crazy and complicated character. Max de Winter is just like everyone’s favorite Gothic heartthorbs like Heathcliff or Rochester. He’s brooding and mysterious with a short temper and a lot of secrets. Then there is the devious Mrs. Danvers who is the maid determined to make the narrator miserable. It’s evident almost right away that she is up to no good and made me giddy with how creepy she is (see what I mean about it being odd). Then of course there was the title character who wasn’t even physically present but even more a part of this story than most other characters.

A mysterious plot, an elegantly written book with an ominous tone, and a cast of creep and complicated characters made this a very enjoyable read for me.

I give Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier an 8.5 out of 10

I would definitely recommend this book. If you are a fan of Gothic literature like Withering Heights or Jane Eyre, or are looking for a Thriller or Mystery that will give you a feeling of uneasy confusion then check out Rebecca. Have you read Rebecca? What were your thoughts? Leave me a comment and let’s start a conversation. HAPPY READING!

No comments:

Post a Comment