Two weeks ago the participants in my Rebecca Readalong posted their thoughts over the first half of this remarkable novel. And after a slow first couple chapters, I was hooked on this gloomy, mysterious, and creepy novel. So hooked, in fact, that I finished the last half of this book in one sitting (and that was on January 2, if that tells you anything).
This book awed me. I shut it and immediately wanted to begin again. Du Maurier succeeds in crafting a tale that haunted me from the moment I began reading. She does it in a way that strings it along ever so carefully. You wander with the narrator in search of answers to questions you didn't even know you had to begin with.
In the first half, we watched as our narrator came to Manderley and suffered through the first few days in terror. She was young, naive and scared that she would never live up to image of Rebecca. In every place she turned, she sensed the ghost of her husband's deceased first wife;
"She was in the house still as Mrs. Danvers said, she was in that room in the west wing, she was in the library, in the morning-room, in the gallery above the hall. Even in the little flower-room, where her macintosh still hung. And in the garden, and in the woods, and down in the stone cottage on the beach. her footsteps sounded in the corridors, her scent lingered on the stairs. The servants obeyed her orders still, the food we ate was the food she liked. Her favorite flowers filled the rooms. Her clothes were in the wardrobes in her room, her brushes were on the table, her shoes beneath the chair, her nightdress on the bed. Rebecca was still mistress of Manderley. Rebecca was still Mrs. de Winter," (233).
We can only watch as disaster seems imminent, that Rebecca will win and our narrator will leave Manderley in shame. And as events unfolded, all I could do was keep reading. Our narrator begins to grow up and mature before our eyes as the depths of the mystery of Rebecca continue to unfold. her change might even be more fascinating than the events that take place, as she finds within her the strength to confront what is being thrown her way.
Don't worry, I won't give away what happens, or the powerful ending that took my breath away.
I give myself credit for figuring out plot twists and turns well in advance, but Du Maurier crafted this so well that I never saw it coming. The final blow hit and I gasped. And that was it.
I am still thinking about this novel, days after I set it aside. I can tell that it is a novel that will continue to haunt me. I will think about it until I read it again. And I know that I will read more by this suspense genius. This was a beautiful introduction into the long fiction of Du Maurier (I have read and taught "The Birds" before). I cannot wait to read more of her work in the future, and I hope you do too!
For those of you who participated in the readalong, leave a link here so I can get your post up for us to come visit and comment! For those of you who have read Rebecca, what did you think of this novel? Did it grab you as much as it did me?
Lit Addicted Brit
I loved reading Rebecca, the story was so fulfilling that at the end you don't still wonder about anything. The way du Maurier writes is just amazing, her words are lyrical and I too wanted to reread after I had just finished. I stayed up till 5 the next morning to finish reading it that is how hooked I was. It is now one of my favourites and a book that I would recommend to anyone. I have not done a second post since I posted on the whole book, didn't have the will power to stop at the halfway mark to note my thoughts. Thank you so much for this read-a-long. :)ReplyDelete
I loved Rebecca. What a great story. I have to say that there would be no way I would want to live in a house where everyone did what the previous "wife" had wanted. To have the same furnishings, food, etc. I know she was young, but Mrs. Danvers would have been gone. She really was creepy.ReplyDelete
The book was so good and once you got halfway in, the whole story took off and I just couldn't put the book down.
Yes the ending was really good. Just goes to show how peopole can actually manipulate you and you don't even know it.
Loved both read alongs Allie-so glad I joined in.
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It grabbed me as much as it grabbed you! I think Rebecca would make such an interesting read-aloud on a dark and stormy summer night! I know that I want to read more du Maurier in the future! My second post for Rebecca can be found at:ReplyDelete
This is definitely a book that stays with you - every time I see it, I find myself remembering and pondering different things about it. I also will definitely read more of Du Maurier's book over the next couple of years. I loved watching the narrator's development and think the characterisation in general was wonderful!ReplyDelete
Great choice for a January readalong so thanks!!
Oops! I completely forgot to post my link! Mine's here: http://litaddictedbrit.blogspot.com/2011/01/rebecca-readalong-post-2-end.htmlReplyDelete
I was shocked that I ended up liking this book so much after feeling so annoyed by the beginning. LOL Here's my Readalong conclusion post: http://fewmorepages.blogspot.com/2011/01/readalong-conclusion-review-rebecca-by.htmlReplyDelete
I was kind of excited that Rebecca turned out to be not the perfect picture that the narrator had imagined her to be. I had a feeling it would be that way, but the truth ended up so far beyond my own expectations! What a lot of crazy twists and turns!
I think everybody finished early. I found it really unpredictable as well.ReplyDelete
Here is a link to my post: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/01/rebec-readalong-final-post.html
Thanks so much for hosting the readalong!
I did a post on the second half too. Here it is:ReplyDelete
So glad I finally got a chance to read this, although I'm sorry that I didn't get to post the first half, so I just covered the entire book.ReplyDelete