Thursday 28 May 2020

REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've wanted to read for ages. And I'm glad that I finally picked it up.

I was hooked from the first sentence. The lush writing style is lovely and captivated me instantly. I loved the narrator's whimsical look at everything she goes through, and how quickly her thoughts fly away in so many different directions she temporarily loses sight of reality.

She's the young companion of an awful rich woman determined to degrade her every time they have a conversation. But during a trip to Monte Carlo, she meets the mysterious and moody Maximilian de Winter.

Maxim is a widower who sweeps her off her feet. She's convinced she's in love with him, so his marriage proposal is a surprise she accepts. And so begins her new life at Manderley under the shadow of his dead wife Rebecca, and the awful Mrs Danvers...

The atmosphere and suspense in this book is so thick it felt like an actual storm cloud hung over every page. The descriptions of Manderley and its grounds are pretty but shadowed with menace. The house is a character itself.

Actually, the two main characters seemed to be the house and the dead wife. It's like the new Mrs de Winter is an invisible presence in her own home, and everyone around her totally feeds into this. Her inexperience and shyness keeps her from challenging or changing anything.

I loved how Mrs de Winter's story deals with mundane and simple everyday things, but everything is dripping with dread. I kept waiting for the most awful things to happen, and plenty of super creepy stuff does. There are so many terrible secrets that rise to the surface, and I was captivated every step of the way.

The narrator isn't even given a name. Which fits perfectly into how everyone else treats her. She's almost invisible and spoken to like a child. It was frustrating and often made me angry because she didn't stand up for herself, but she has her own strengths. And living in the dark corridors of Manderley certainly helps age her.

Oh, and how awful was that Mrs Danvers? What a cruel and conniving creeper. 😳

This is one of the most addictive books I've ever read. It's also beautifully written. And terrifying on so many levels. It's also interesting as hell and intrigued me all the way through.

That ending was also unexpected, but the only way it could end.

I seriously LOVED Rebecca. The book, not the woman haunting every page.

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