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Book Club Picks > September 2009: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

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message 1: by Novel Tea Book Club (last edited Oct 04, 2009 08:55PM) (new)

Novel Tea Book Club  (NovelTeaBookClubModerator) | 38 comments Mod
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier was a great success in our book club. Everyone found the novel to be an easy read that was continuously engaging and full of interesting characters. We found that the writing was superb and the story full of fascinating twists and turns.

In discussing Rebecca our group realized that the novel is so much more than just a story. The novel, like its authour, is complex and multi-layered. Rebecca deserves examination and discussion.

We would recommend this novel to any book group.

Our rating 4.5/5 stars.

Synopsis: This is the chilling classic of a girl haunted by her own imagination and by the ghost of Rebecca de Winter. After honeymooning in Italy the dashing Max de Winter returns with his innocent young bride to Manderley, the beautiful family estate in Cornwall. Yet the former mistress' disturbing presence lingers throughout the house. Du Maurier's shy heroine is tortured by constant comparisons to the glittering socialite who was her predecessor and she is heading towards tragedy and despair when Rebecca herself appears...

message 2: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi | 48 comments How is everyone doing with Rebecca?

message 3: by Melinda (new)

Melinda Wong | 2 comments so far so would help if i was a faster reader!

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 29, 2009 10:15AM) (new)

Shannon wrote: "It had all the elements in a book that I, mystery and suspense. I found it hard to put it down....just wanted to find out more. It really caught me off guard with the revelation that Max despised Rebecca, that he killed her and at the end with the fact that Rebecca was dying of cancer. Did not see that coming. It was a good choice! Hope you enjoy your java/discussion ladies...sorry I will miss it

message 5: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi | 48 comments Here is Beatrice's review of Rebecca:

I thought that the author wrote the novel in a really nice way which made it a really pleasant read. It took me back in time to when I was younger and enjoyed this kind of love story that had a little twist.
The story was not a really great surprise. I kind of knew what was going to happen. I didn't like the fact that the place got destroyed.

For me it is a little immoral that the main character doesn't care at all that the first wife was killed by her husband. I don't think that I would react that way!!! But it's a story and I didn't mind this fact when I was reading it. The narrator's personality made sense with the way she was seeing and living her life.

I will give a 4 to this book. Not the best story, but a nice read.


message 6: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi | 48 comments My review:

I loved this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. This is a perfect novel. The writing is superb. The story is beautifully crafted. The novel was full of suspense and for me, unpredictable (obviously Manderley was going to be destroyed, but I had no idea of what else was going to happen). The characters in the novel are fascinating and one could spend hours trying to figure out what the authour was really trying to get at with each one. du Maurier is a genius story teller. I plan to read more of her work in the future.
I would recommend Rebecca to anyone who enjoys great story telling.

message 7: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Campbell (marca1971) | 19 comments Marjorie said: "This superbly written, atmospheric, and claustrophobic book is a must read on any book list. There are so many layers to this story, and so many ways in which to examine it. It is an intensely inspiring read from a writer's point of view.

...more This superbly written, atmospheric, and claustrophobic book it is a must read on any book list. There are so many layers to this story, and so many ways in which to examine it. It is an intensely inspiring read from a writer's point of view.

The characters are finely drawn and the energy of the book relentlessly draws one on to the surprising conclusion. Rebecca has a sly laugh at the reader as well as at the cast of characters who she moves about her personal chessboard even to the last page. It is undeniably a gothic novel in style but it is a gothic novel plus - in that du Maurier hints at questions regarding female sexuality and gender roles still relevant to this day. It provokes many thoughts about what a woman’s role in a marriage is, and in general what a woman’s role in society is meant to be. While the modern reader may not find promiscuity, bisexuality, or lesbianism particularly shocking – Rebecca’s masochistic behavior towards those in her sphere of influence is.

This novel speaks a great deal about class distinctions and uses class language as part of its characterisations. It is sometimes something the modern reader might find difficult to navigate – as it has been at least a generation since our relations were or had ‘help’. It is worth bearing these distinctions in mind when reading the book as they add an extra nuance to already charged dialogue between characters. Most of Mrs Danvers speeches, for example, to the new Mrs de Winter are masterpieces of subtle digs and cuts. And Maxim’s cruelty to his new wife are further underlined by these distinctions – for example his dressing her down in front of the servants over the breaking of the cupid statue.

I would strongly recommend reading this book to anyone. An easy, exciting, and thought-provoking read.

message 8: by Melinda (new)

Melinda Wong | 2 comments I really liked this book as well. I thought that the characters were very intersting and the story kept my interest. I didn't like as much the fact that I knew what was coming yet it took me 5 or 6 pages before they actually come out and said it. I did however enjoy the ending as I was glad that it had somewhat of a twist in what you thought was going to happen. I also found the conversations the new wife had within herself were very intersting and true of the nature of human behaviour. The way she thought of how all those around her viewed her as we ourselves often do in our own lives. And to find out that what she believed Max thought of her was in fact the complete opposite was refreshing. I would recommend this book as an easy read that wasn't exceptional but intersting just the same! 4 stars for my vote!

message 9: by Waheed (new)

Waheed Rabbani | 1 comments Kokeshi wrote: "My review:

I loved this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. This is a perfect novel. The writing is superb. The story is beautifully crafted. The novel was full of suspense and ..."

Hi Kokeshi;
My 5 stars review would paraphrase yours. The plot twists were fascinating and we never got to know the name of the narrator! It goes to show that love is strange and will make us forgive behaviours, even to the point of accepting our lover's reasons for having committed murder.

Another great one by Ms. Du Maurier is "My Cousin Rachel."


Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest by Waheed Rabbani

message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1 comments Well, I hadn't exactly finished the book when we met for the book club and thanks girls for not ruing the ending for me. However, thanks to goodreads and the numerous emails, I unfortunately read reviews that I shouldn't have! Oh well! It was still a very good book and an easy read that kept me captivated throughout. The characters were interesting and I liked how du Maurier kept them intriguing until the end. There were also no loose ends left at the end which I appreciate in a book. I now want to read the sequel! Also impressive to me was to find out about the author's personal life and how a lot of her personality is reflected in Rebecca. I rate this book a 4+ out of five.

message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melarchbold) | 1 comments I have to admit I may be the only one on earth that wasn't a fan of this book. I didn't find that it was interesting at all until about page 300, then I couldn't put it down. For me it was just going over and over the same dull pattern of nothing happening. I thought that the plot was too predictable but must admit that the last chapters of the book contributed to a 3 star rather than a 2.

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