Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rebecca -- Daphne du Maurier -- 1938


Daphne du Maurier

My Rating: 5 Stars


“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...”

An inexperienced, naive young girl hired as a companion for the wealthy and despicable Mrs. Van Hopper meets and falls in love with recently widowed Max de Winter, owner of Manderley. They marry and go to the estate to live. In doing so, Mrs. de Winter is thrust into a world she knows nothing of... a world in which everyone and everything is tainted by the former Mrs. de Winter: Rebecca. It is a dead woman she must fight to gain her place. It is Rebecca she is expected to imitate . It is Rebecca she fears her husband loves still. And it is Rebecca who is her greatest enemy.

How dreadfully abrupt that sounds. The problem is this: I cannot write a good review for “Rebecca”. It is a work of art. Each word molding against the next; each sentence it's own unique flavor in the paragraph; each paragraph a blaze of color that lends itself to the perfection of the rainbow.

I have never read another book like “Rebecca” and as bittersweet as that is, I hope I never do. “Rebecca” deserves to stand alone. Oh, it has what other books have: good style, good story, unique characters, wonderful mystery, romance, intrigue... but “Rebecca” has something else other books don't have: Daphne du Maurier.

“Rebecca” is a mixture of styles, one of them being abstract; another being bold. You feel the dreamy quality of consciousness not being quite there but every word pricks it's own place into the readers mind. The story fills your senses and takes you with the characters as you journey through the pages. You know their love and pain and frustration; you feel the rain and the sunshine; you smell the roses in the gardens and the air of the sea.

The author leaves the reader with many questions about themselves. The one that impacted me the most was this: Why should we try to emulate others when we were created uniquely as ourselves?

What I Liked:
1: The basics: plot, style, mystery, details, the colors (you'd think for a book so morbid, it would be dark but instead, it ranges... most of it bright), characters, Manderley...
2: A realization: When we feel we are at the end, it is time for a new beginning. Do not act in haste. Wait. God has something better for you.
3: How the young Mrs. de Winter makes mistakes... and learns from them. In the end, she has become a mature woman.
4: Even though this book is long and there isn't much action (until the end, of course ;-)), I never felt the details were excessive. Each was there for a purpose.

1 comment:

Sloane said...

I just posted my write up of "Rebecca" last month. Good for you! I've enjoyed reading through your posts. I hope you are still enjoying the process (whether you make money on it or not). In case you were wondering, I found you because I was searching Google for pics of Bert (i.e. Mary Poppins) and it linked me to you. Glad I found you. :-)Best of luck and keep posting!