James Mustich's 1000 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

Rebecca
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2020 - Group Reads Archive > Rebecca - February 2020

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message 1: by Marlise (last edited Feb 08, 2020 12:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars


Cphe Read Rebecca as a teenager and loved it but I read it many years later as part of a group read here on GR's.

It didn't make the same impression on me as an adult. Perceptions change the older you get i suppose.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments I have this one on my schedule now


Mariella Rinaldi | 171 comments Mod
I've just started it and I think it's magnetic: extremely well written (or translated...) and with loads of non-trivial features. 😍


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments I definitely plan on this one, but it probably won't be till the end of the month.


Marlise (mawz76) | 175 comments Mod
Just finished this. Ashamed to say I had to listen to the final few minutes a few times before I understood what was happening. Lol. I enjoyed the writing and thought it was well worth the time to read this. And I had NO idea Daphne du Maurier had written The Birds which is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.

That Rebecca, wow! Can't say I felt sorry for her, at all. Especially by the end. I can't decide whether I like our protagonist or not. I did like how perceptive she could be at times. At times she acted in silly ways but I liked the way in which the author made her evolve by the ending.


message 7: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Huttner | 157 comments I finished Rebecca. I found it a little difficult to get into, but once I was past CH2 , I really liked it. The writing is excellent and the author really brings you into the story.

Like Marlise, I don't feel sorry for Rebecca at all either. Rebecca didn't love anyone but herself. She used people and men to get what she wanted, even her death. Why is it that beautiful people think they deserve more than others and that it's ok to be cruel and mean to others?

I like how the protagonist was young and silly at first but evolved into someone Maxim could share his hatred for Rebecca with for all she had done.

I found it interesting how the author tells us at the end of Ch 1 that "Manderly is no more" what the ending of the story is when they are driving towards Manderly and find it burning and ashes blowing toward them.


Carol | 66 comments Loved Rebecca. After I read it, I proceeded to watch all the film adaptations. Great mystery book. It is my second book by this author, but the other one I read escapes me. My book club of 20 years has read both.


Marlise (mawz76) | 175 comments Mod
Check the Du Maurier post (link is at the top of this discussion). Nadra made a cool observation that may tie in to Rebecca.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments Finished last night--kept me up past my bedtime.

I liked it a lot, especially the last half. The first half is a little cringe-inducing, I think, with the mental flailing about of the narrator (did she ever get a name other than Mrs. De Winter?). The last half (after the fancy dress ball) is more like a detective tale.

I would read more of du Maurier. I thought it was very entertaining.


message 11: by James (new)

James Mustich | 27 comments Bryan, I recommend My Cousin Rachel if you’re looking for a follow up.


Nadra | 10 comments I was wondering what her name was as well! Anyone catch her name? I guess it was intentional to show how much of a shadow Rebecca was casting .. I didn't realize it until I had finished and tried to summarize the book to my husband.

I am conflicted about the ending. Anyone else also feel like it was actually a happy ending, like a cleansing rather than Rebecca's evil doing from the grave?


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments Nadra wrote: "I am conflicted about the ending. Anyone else also feel like it was actually a happy ending, like a cleansing rather than Rebecca's evil doing from the grave? ..."

I think you could look at it that way...but the first couple of chapters set a melancholy tone--I didn't re-read them, but it seemed like their lives were emptier. No real reason they would have to be--I just feel like it was the tone that du Maurier wanted to set. When she describes the husband, he seems diminished, and she (whatever her name is!) is almost like a caretaker.


Nadra | 10 comments - SPOILER ALERT -

Regarding the ending, I guess whether it was happy or sad depends on whose perspective.. Max was mortified to have to tell the (What's Her Name:) narrator that he had killed Rebecca while she was elated by the revelation that he didn't love Rebecca. Maybe, likewise, Max will be horrified by Manderley's fire while the narrator may be happily thinking of all the objects tainted by Rebecca burning and giving them a fresh start sans Rebecca's ghost and Mrs Danvers creeping about.

I agree, Bryan, the first couple chapters, indeed most of the book, set a melancholy tone. I loved that there was a big twist in the story that made the narrator, and reader, look at everything through a new perspective. I will definitely be checking out her other books.

Thanks, James. I didn't realise that My Cousin Rachel was based on a du Maurier book. Will have to read and re-watch!


message 15: by Marlise (last edited Feb 18, 2020 06:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marlise (mawz76) | 175 comments Mod
**SPOILERS**

Great interpretations! I feel almost that the first half of the book HAD to be about the narrator (who indeed is never given a name, which I find very interesting) obsessing about Max's and everyone else's love for Rebecca. I feel it made it more believable that after the revelation that Max had killed Rebecca, the narrator would feel such great relief that she would condone what Max had done and be so invested in him not being found out. And that acceptance, I feel, was more about the narrator wanting Max to be hers than any reflection on Rebecca's actual character.


message 16: by Cphe (last edited Feb 18, 2020 07:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cphe She started the novel as a paid companion and finished as an unpaid companion.

Did anyone else feel that ?

Had a marvellous opening line that set the tone of the book. The only other novel that I can think of (opening line that stays with you)
is Pride and Prejudice.


message 17: by Carlton (new) - added it

Carlton | 68 comments I will try to go back to this, but I read about seven chapters and just wasn’t getting into the story, or rather I disliked the story and characters. They just weren’t sympathetic, and although I understood the process by which the narrator became enchanted by Maxim de Winter, I was just frustrated by her.


Nadra | 10 comments Carlton wrote: "I will try to go back to this, but I read about seven chapters and just wasn’t getting into the story, or rather I disliked the story and characters. They just weren’t sympathetic, and although I u..."

Carlton, I was feeling the same about the narrator (annoyed by her spinelessness) before the story completely turned on it's head. It is definitely worth continuing for the twist! The book then went from blah to brilliant. It's almost as if the author is testing the reader's patience ..


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