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Rebecca
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September 2020: Psychological > Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier - 5 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2277 comments First published over 80 years ago, Rebecca remains one of the best loved modern Gothics. Rebecca is the story of two marriages, one in the present and one in the recent past. The story is narrated by the second Mrs. de Winter, older and wiser now, who is looking back on her younger self and the tragedy that she and her husband have been through. Following a brief courtship, Maxim de Winter brings his young bride, who remains nameless throughout the novel, home to Manderley, the family estate on the coast of Cornwall. There she meets her nemesis, the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who for some unknown reason takes pleasure in humiliating her shy young mistress at every turn.

Our poor heroine finds herself competing for the affections of her husband with his dead wife, Rebecca, who seems very much alive in spirit. From the moment she enters Manderley, she feels oppressed by Rebecca's shadow. Maxim has become increasingly aloof and she believes it's because he is haunted by his memories of Rebecca. She was a charming, vivacious, and beautiful woman. Everyone who knew her, loved her, Mrs. Danvers most of all. Our narrator is near paralyzed with insecurity. As the author ratchets up the suspense, our heroine becomes unnerved and unsure of Maxim's love. Events come to a head when a skeleton is found in a place where it shouldn't be. Whose is it?

Overall, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Rebecca. I very rarely stop and examine the beautiful quality of a sentence as I did numerous times while reading this book. I thought it was exquisitely written and suspenseful. I think the author did a wonderful job of showing the shy, insecure young mistress of the house, lost and alone, desperate to fit in. The only flaw I experienced with this novel is that the character seems very passive. The narrator acknowledges the ridiculousness of youth but with a sympathy for it. I'm glad I finally took the opportunity to reread this classic. I can see why it's stood the test of time and has never been out of print since it's 1938 debut.


Diana H. | 360 comments Great review! It's one of my favourite!


Meli (melihooker) | 3492 comments So excited to see this glowing review because I am reading this next month along with Mexican Gothic (as there have been comparisons with Rebecca).

There is also a new film adaptation coming out soon with Lily James (love), so I am looking forward to that too.


message 4: by Olivermagnus (last edited Sep 04, 2020 06:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2277 comments Meli wrote: "So excited to see this glowing review because I am reading this next month along with Mexican Gothic (as there have been comparisons with Rebecca).

There is also a new film adaptation coming out ..."


I just added Mexican Gothic but I'm #343 on the hold list. I went to one of my on-line libraries and was able to check it out immediately for seven days so I better get a move on. It looks great.


Hannah | 1186 comments I loved this book when I read it last year! It was one of the few books that I went out and bought straight away when my library loan expired.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 87 comments Meli wrote: "So excited to see this glowing review because I am reading this next month along with Mexican Gothic (as there have been comparisons with Rebecca).

There is also a new film adaptation coming out ..."


Thanks for the heads-up bout the new movie!


Meli (melihooker) | 3492 comments Olivermagnus wrote: "Meli wrote: "So excited to see this glowing review because I am reading this next month along with Mexican Gothic (as there have been comparisons with Rebecca).

There is also a new film adaptatio..."


343rd!? Holy moly... do you live in a big city?
Theresa in New York has mentioned long wait lists before (I think).
I didn't realize Mexican Gothic was so popular.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5785 comments I didn't realize it was that popular either.

I'm glad to hear about the new movie. I like Lily James too. From Downton Abby, and a completely different kind of film -Baby Driver (which I loved unreasonably).


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5785 comments Olivermagnus wrote: "First published over 80 years ago, Rebecca remains one of the best loved modern Gothics. Rebecca is the story of two marriages, one in the present and one in the recent past. The story is narrated ..."

Great review. I like it more every time i read it. There is a lot of symbolism, even with the color of the flowers along the drive. At the second reading, I was more disturbed by the impressions I got of her future life. I didn't even notice that the first time.


message 10: by annapi (new) - added it

annapi | 5117 comments This has been on my TBR for forever... I really need to get around to it!


Theresa | 7822 comments Meli wrote: " Olivermagnus wrote: "Meli wrote: "So excited to see this glowing review because I am reading this next month along with Mexican Gothic (as there have been comparisons with Rebecca).

There is als..."


Oh, yeah, at NYPL you can have an ebook wait list for popular works, especially new fiction or classics being released in movie version, that have over 1000 waiting - but they also will have many, even hundreds of copies. At least initially. And it doesn't help that anyone who can prove they live in NYS can get a NYPL card. During pandemic the number of holds and ebooks you can have out at any one time was sharply reduced -- only 3 ebooks checked out at a time and I think 7 on hold. Prior to pandemic you could check out I think 12 and holds were about 20.

I still have the original paperback edition of Rebecca I read as a teenager - and I definitely re-read it more than once over the years. But it has been some time ... and I have been thinking it is time to indulge again. It always has held up to re-reads, from that amazing opening sentence: Last night I went to Manderly again.


message 12: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3492 comments 1000 holds!?! omg! Well, if you're interested I'm gonna read Rebecca next month if you wanna buddy (re)read. *>_<*


Theresa | 7822 comments Meli wrote: "1000 holds!?! omg! Well, if you're interested I'm gonna read Rebecca next month if you wanna buddy (re)read. *>_<*"

Mind you, I see zny estimated wait over a very few months, I don't join the wait list!

Hmmmm....might just join you on the buddy read but November more likely. I have to find my copy!


message 14: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9071 comments I would also do a Buddy Read for Rebecca in November. Its been on my TBR for forever, and crazily enough it fits most tags. I even think it has a Poll ballot tag. I'd love to finally read it.


Theresa | 7822 comments Also want to complement on what an inspired fiction choice for psychological.


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