Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier, via
Reviewed by Christina


It's about:  An unnamed first-person narrator is plucked from her humdrum middle class life by Maxim de Winter, a moody widower millionaire who owns a beloved coastal estate called Manderley.  The narrator tries to adjust to being lady of the house, but she runs into trouble as she realizes that the de Winters' household staff and friends are all still enthralled with Maxim's late wife, Rebecca. 

I thought:  As I mentioned in my read-along post last week, Rebecca has been recommended to me by at least a dozen people.  Almost every time I've mentioned it, people have told me how much they love it.  So, despite the harlequin-y cover, I had pretty high expectations.

Shoot!  I hate when I have high expectations for books!  I'm always, ALWAYS disappointed when I finally get down to it, and I'm sorry to say that it was the same for Rebecca.  I thought it was a good, solid novel.  Entertaining, well-plotted (except for an extremely slow start), nicely written, etc.  But I just don't really get what all the fuss is about.  I failed to connect with the weak and pathetic narrator and for most of the book I despised Maxim and his condescending attitude toward her.  Then, when he suddenly turns over a new leaf after 200+ pages of jerkiness, I just didn't buy it.  I didn't care enough about him to share the narrator's feelings about the central conflicts at all.

Part of my problem might just be that I didn't read it quickly enough.  It took me forever to get into it because I was trying to read during an insanely busy week.  Another part of my problem might be that I read this on the heels of The Robber Bride, which has a character who is really just a more complex version of Rebecca.  Wish I could go into more detail about that, but I'm trying to avoid spoiling anything.

I may be the only person who didn't go gaga over this book.  So, if you loved it, please tell me why.  I really want to understand!  I'm hoping the Read-Along discussion and my book group meeting will help me appreciate it a little more.

Verdict: Stick it on the shelf.  I enjoyed reading it and I think it's a good piece of literature.  I just didn't adore it the way everyone else does. 

Reading Recommendations: Somebody please read The Robber Bride in tandem with this one so that we can do a compare and contrast together. 

Warnings: Kinda scary plot elements?  I mean, really nothing major.

What I'm reading nextJackie After O by Tina Cassidy