As per the (repeated) recommendation of one of my family members and because it suited my current mood, I started reading Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and finally finished it today after only 3 weeks. This is some sort of a record for me, since these old classics usually take me months. I usually find the painstakingly detailed descriptions of how one places the tea cup terribly tedious and hard to digest. I recall that many years ago, it took me over 4 months to finish Emma by Jane Austen, and another 3 months to complete A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert. And yet, Rebecca was incredibly easy to digest. On some nights I find myself staying up for hours just to read what happens next!
The pace of the book was quick, even though for most of the book nothing really happens. They spend most of the time walking in the garden with the dog and having tea. The highlight of the chapter would be the narrator going up into a dead woman’s room and observing her possessions. Nevertheless, it was incredibly engaging. The writing was also quite clever. I was so engrossed into the narrator’s point of view that I did not see the obvious signs of what was going on until the narrator herself did, even though I am so much more jaded than her. No wonder it was a hit back in the 1938! It is a surprisingly refreshing novel even now. I wonder if it is more relatable to me because it was written more recently than Jane Austen books, and so the language is easier to digest or if it really is the talents of Ms. DuMaurier. And I wonder what happened in the end……….
I’m such a nerd. School is over and here I am dying to discuss the implications of a classic novel, when back in the days, I struggled to come up with something to say in class! Maybe I should join a book club!
I’ve been dying to find a good read and this sounds like one!!
I loved Rebecca! There are two movie versions out, though I’ve only seen one (the newer one, I believe).
Ever read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte? That is my all-time favorite. :]
we studied Rebecca last year in class, i did enjoy it once we really got into the themes of the book, much better tha the other class who had to read Emma! (cannot stand that book, tried to read it and gave up). Im sure you noticed the narrators lack of name, maybe you could start with theorising why that was so? 🙂
Barneys Girl said:
Yes I did notice that! I personally think there are two reasons:
1. the lack of narrator name focuses the attention on Rebecca, which is the true main character of the book (if the name didn’t already give it away)
2. the lack of narrator name also allows the reader to more easily put themself into the narrator’s role, as the outside observer trying to resolve this mystery