Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

This is technically a reread, but since I read Rebecca even before I started writing reviews, I guess it could count as new? I've been meaning to read this for a while, and after reading Manderley Forever, it got moved to the top of the TBR list.

I don't think a plot introduction is needed, but if you haven't heard of the book before, Rebecca isn't the name of the protagonist. It's the name of the nameless protagonist's husband's first wife. And even though Rebecca is dead, she haunts Manderley and the protagonist's relationships as she is convinced that she is inferior to the well-loved Rebecca.

The book is also a lot more than a bizarre love triangle. Part of the reason it makes such a big impact is the atmosphere that it has. Manderley (which is based on a real house called Menabilly) is practically a character of its own, which is unusual for a house.

However, I've got to add a note of warning: if you're looking for a romance novel, this is not the book.

Sure, it's about a romantic relationship and could have what might be called a HEA (she does get the guy after all, although it's debatable if she is truly happy) but it doesn't actually hit any of the conventional tropes. The HEA might not actually be happy, and the tone of the novel is extremely dark. It is less of a romance and more of a novel about how insecurity and jealousy and take human form.

I definitely recommend this. It's fascinating and absorbing, and it will hook you from its iconic first sentence. I can definitely see why this is Daphne du Maurier's most famous book (even if she got sick about all the questions about the name of the protagonist later on).

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