Tuesday, November 10, 2009
60. REBECCA - Daphne du Maurier
No, it is not a "new novel." In fact, many of this blog's readers have recommended Rebecca for years. I've followed your advice because you have seldom been wrong.
Until now. Or not?
I am sorry dear blog readers, but I had such a difficult time with the plot of this novel. The writing was extraordinary - her use of language incredible. Descriptions danced off the pages and into my imagination. Allowing the main character to stay nameless throughout the book could be considered an amazing literary accomplishment for the times (and by a woman! you can hear the critics of old gush).
But I think I needed more backstory - the things she told Maxim about her past but never revealed to the reader. Then, I would understand her desire to stay.
For those who have not read this book (I thought I was the last one, but you never know), Rebecca is the dead wife of the narrator's new husband. Her presence seems to haunt the huge house of Manderley and distract the husband, Maxim, from his new wife. Mrs. Danvers, a nasty old servant of the house, is so dedicated to her former employer that she and the others insist that certain things (menus, the placement of flowers) be like Rebecca would want.
What kicked this over to the plus side was Daphne du Maurier's post script in my paperback version. She didn't give the narrator a name because she could not come up with one. Love it!
3.? out of 5.0 Boat Drinks.