DU MAURIER'S STUDY IN JEALOUSY | REBECCA REVIEW



Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier
Victor Gollancz | 1938
       The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives-presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
I don't read Classics often. But when I do, they're either boring and terrible or fantastic. Rebecca was fantastic.

I first picked up Rebecca a year ago, but stopped because I didn't enjoy it/didn't know how to appreciate it. I am so glad that I tried it again! (For those who were wondering how I learned of this book, I read Thorn Abbey/Always, Forever by Nancy Ohlin, which is a retelling of this story, in the 6th grade).

The book felt like a gothic and darker version of Pride & Prejudice - if Darcy and Elizabeth were unhappy with their marriage. I think I felt that because Manderley reminded me of Pemberley. The author's lush and vivid descriptions of Manderley... it was so beautiful. Du Maurier is such a great writer. Her writing is rich, floral and builds. The writing is just outstanding! The story started at pianissimo and crescendoed. It was building so much suspense and it felt like it was going to burst at any moment. I loved a good 75-80% of the book because it had me on the edge of my seat, but the aftermath of the whole investigation and the investigation itself did not intrigue me. However, I really liked the ending. It's a tad abrupt, but it's a satisfying ending that gives you some closure.

Du Maurier's characters came alive. I was invested to the story and it invoked all types of emotion. I don't think I've ever been creeped out by a fictional character. I was terrified by Mrs. Danvers. She's in a whole other league. She's a sociopath! She was so obsessed and her obsession just radiates. I'm gonna have nightmares about her. the characters were realistic and relatable. The unnamed narrator was bombarded by Rebecca's lingering presence. How she ran the house, how she was talented, how beautiful she was and how everybody loved her. The narrator has this "doubt" about herself and constantly compares herself to Rebecca. It's still relatable today.

Great book, rich writing, lush descriptions, realistic characters, and suspenseful. It's a lengthy and draining book, but it's so good. There's so much drama and mystery.

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