Hi there, misfits! Today I wanted to reflect back on my post from last week, specifically about getting yourself out of a reading slump. Believe me, I am the the first one to know just how much they suck, but let me tell you about one book that pulled me the heck out of one.
Enter Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
I know, I know. My fellow book nerds out there are screaming at the heavens that I hadn’t read Rebecca yet, because it’s a classic piece of literature. But hey, I get pretty darn busy as a college student and a blogger, and as of right now, my To-Be-Read list on Goodreads is about a million books long. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post my third book review on what is now one of my favorite books ever, Rebecca!
Plus, don’t worry, there’s no spoilers! I’m trying out a new format for my reviews, let me know what you think!
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”
Rebecca, in its simplest form, is the story of a young orphaned woman that suddenly marries Maxwell de Winter, a rich older man, and when she joins him in his estate at Manderly, things aren’t quite what they seem. She is constantly finding herself having to stand in the shadows of her husband’s late wife, Rebecca, and as she begins to take on more responsibilities at the house, she begins sinking deeper and deeper into the past as she tries to move on into the future with her new husband, who seems to be hiding more and more secrets every time she learns a new answer.
As far as the narration goes, we never get to hear the name of our main character. For a classic novel, the language is surprisingly easy to comprehend and really keeps you flipping the page faster and faster to find out what happens next. Du Maurier’s prose and description is beautiful, to say the least, and as a fellow writer, I found myself trying to emulate it in some of my own work. Her way of painting the world of Manderley around her main character is flowery, yet complete, in the sense that you truly see this dark and desolate home she’s been brought into.
WHAT I LOVED
As you’ve probably already gathered, I loved this book. I mean, seriously loved it. I’ve been in a bit of a horror/thriller mood lately, so it was important for me to find a book that had a few good twists and that would keep me up wanting to finish the rest of it. It definitely achieved that goal, and went far and beyond. The narrator’s inner narrative was spot-on, and I even found myself relating to some of the anxiety-ridden ways her mind would work. She was constantly trying to think out the consequences of her actions as well as “what ifs” and trying to get into the heads of other people. There were enough twists that by the end, I kind of did that “big sigh” when you realize it all comes together by the time you close the cover of the book and set it on your shelf (though I do feel like the end could have been stronger, which I’ll touch upon in a bit).
WHAT I DIDN’T REALLY LOVE
There were only a few minor problems I had with this book. Of course, I had to remember to look at it as being a classic, historical novel (as it was written in the 1930s), so I have to restrain from becoming anachronistically frustrated. That being said, the main character kind of bugged me. I mentioned in the positives section that she had an “anxiety” way of thinking — this was both interesting and incredibly frustrating at times. Though I related a lot to her thought process, I also kind of wanted to slug her sometimes for being so silly. I felt the same way about Max and his justifications for certain actions and plot points throughout the book, which kind of left me feeling a little unsatisfied with the last few twists at the end.
ALL IN ALL
I would highly recommend this book. For me, I know I always have trouble getting through an older (meaning 19th century or earlier) novel just because the language and plot is a lot different than the stuff we have on our shelves today, so I would say this is a good book for anyone trying to make the transition to reading more classic literature. It’s a step towards Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen, with a little more of a modern-ish twist to keep you on your toes.