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review 2017-10-10 13:42
Rebecca ★★★★★
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Why did I wait so long to read Rebecca? How stupid of me to have put it off, treating it like a chore, one of those famous classics that I ought to read as an educational exercise, in order to be well rounded and to say that I have read it. Knowing that it was a gothic romance of sorts, I expected this to be like one of those Bronte books, which I have almost universally found to be tiresome, frustrating, boring, and featuring an inexplicable romance with a horrible man. But this was a nearly perfect book. It still features a 

romance between a heroine who needs to have some sense slapped into her and a horrible man who ought to be kicked in the balls, but I don’t get the sense that the author expects me to find them tragically romantic. This is a clearly dysfunctional relationship where a coldly manipulative older man takes full advantage of an isolated young woman whose naivete and lousy self-esteem makes her an easy target. 

(spoiler show)

 

But Rebecca is so much more. The deliciously chilling atmosphere and building sense of dread. The creepy, creepy, characters. The immersive sense of place. I loved it.

 

None of the main characters were likable or admirable. But I loved how the author manipulated me, the reader, tricking me into 

feeling sympathy at the foolishly naïve 2nd Mrs. De Winter, only to then carry her desperate neediness to its logical conclusion, where she is so delighted to have secured Maxim that she gives no thought or regard to his confession of murder, but only thinks how to protect him from the consequences so she can go on having him for herself. This is the kind of woman who, in another sort of story, would be an enabler or even full participant in her husband’s crimes against women, rationalizing it, blaming his victims, covering up for him.

(spoiler show)

 

Audiobook version, borrowed from my public library. Anna Massey’s performance is magnificent.

 

Previous Updates:

16% 10/7/17 

47% 10/7/17

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text 2017-10-08 03:01
Rebecca - progress 47%
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Oh my god. That scene with Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca's room is just about the creepiest ever. Anna Massey's performance of it freaked me right the fuck out. 

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text 2017-10-07 20:56
Rebecca - progress 16%
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

Perhaps, when she had gone, he would talk to me at last, about loving me, about being happy. Up to now, there had been no time. And anyway, those things are not easily said. They must wait their moment.

 

That poor, foolish, stupid girl. It can be so easy, when one is young and naive and lacking self-esteem, to convince yourself that a dysfunctional relationship is normal. That a man you desperately love for reasons that have nothing to do with the person he really is, has justifiable reasons for treating you badly.

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text 2017-09-25 02:01
Halloween Bingo - Romantic Suspense
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

I've been wrecking my brains most of today to figure out what to read for the Romantic Suspense square. 

As you you know, I am not a huge fan of the romance genre and my original plans tended towards Daphne Du Maurier's Frenchman's Creek. The thing is, I am not in the mood for Frenchman's Creek

 

My other considerations have included Window on the Square (Phyllis A Whitney) - as recommended by Murder by Death, This Sweet Sickness (Highsmith), Nine Coaches Waiting (Stewart), or re-reads of Rebecca (Du Maurier), Carol/The Price of Salt (Highsmith), Strong Poison (Sayers). 

 

 

I think I want to go with a re-read of Rebecca, tho. We can argue whether it is a "romance", but it is usually tagged as such. I guess the messed up relationship in this one is part of what draws me to it.

 

 

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review 2017-09-14 18:43
This year's classic...
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman

I'll be honest from the start, I would never choose to read a Classic, I find them dated and slow, and rather pretentious. However, for some reason, book groups seem to feel a need to foist one on me every so often and their latest offering was Rebecca. "Oh no, you'll love it." they said. Oh no, I won't! Actually, 3 stars isn't bad a for a Classic, Lolita fared worse.

 

So, poor girl falls on her feet and marries rich man. Hardly an original premise. There was the nasty scheming housekeeper, who tricks poor girl into making a complete fool of herself. And the dead first wife who plays a huge part, even though she's dead.

 

I don't think I would have made it through all 400+ pages without the help of the very upper-crust, BBC voice of Anna Massey, but although she was a bit irritating, she was the perfect voice for the book.

 

But the ending - No! No, no, no!!!

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