For as long as I’ve been a bookworm, there has been one book which has continually cropped up time and time again, often heralded as a favorite book of all time. It’s none other than Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
There’s always an element of risk when reading such a universally beloved book. Would I like it too? Would I get it? Or would I feel out of the loop for the remainder of my reading life by not appreciating it? Thankfully, all of those fears were put to rest, because I can happily report that Rebecca lived up to the high expectations, even exceeding them in some parts.
If you’ve been living under a rock, or, like me, have managed to stay blissfully unaware of the plot of Rebecca in the 80 years since its publication, the novel is a gothic, psychological drama. My copy of the book refers to it as a “classic tale of romantic suspense”, but I don’t think that could be further from the truth.
The novel follows an unnamed narrator, who, when on a trip to the South of France with her employer, meets Maxim de Winter, a wealthy widower who proposes to the narrator and takes her back to his estate named Manderley. Once there, our narrator finds herself unable to shake off the presence of Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca.
That’s really all you need to know. One of the big joys I had from reading this book was finding out little details on my own, being shocked by the various twists and turns, and contemplating on what du Maurier was trying to say in this book. It’s often said about classic authors from the past, but Daphne du Maurier really was ahead of her time, and there’s so much material in this book to discuss and consider even in 2018.
In case you hadn’t picked up on it, I absolutely loved this, and I’m so glad I finally took the plunge and read it when it’s been on my radar for so many years. It’s a worthy reminder to just devour those big, important books that we put off for so long. I can’t wait to explore more of Daphne du Maurier’s work. Let me know where I should head to next!