Rebecca is one of the much talked about English classics. It has been recommended to me time and again. After reading a few pages of a vintage Pan Mac edition, I switched over to the audible book. Listening to it in a way helped me to finish the book which I doubt I would have done otherwise.
I began reading a vintage paperback and then quickly switched over to audible edition as my account got credited. The cover page is simple and symbolic. Not very artistic though. It’s a simple gate that seems to be barred to the new Mrs de Winters. I did not think much of the cover.
There are a number of characters in the book, however, the entire book is written from the voice of Mrs de Winters. She is a simple orphan who hasn’t had much comfort in life. She is an under confident woman who is learning the ways of high society, now that she is married to a man of importance. In the entire book she is trying to figure out her place in the household.
Her husband is Maxim de Winter. Maxim is a widower. Having recently lost his wife to a terrible accident, he is looking for solace but can find none. Believed to the still in love with his dead wife, Maxim is a mysterious character.
There are other supporting characters, mainly their employees. But the most interesting of them all is Rebecca. The tall,slim, beautiful, well-bred, liked by friends, family and employees, Rebecca is an interesting character throughout the book and haunts both Mr and Mrs de Winters.
The plot begins when Mr de Winter and the future Mrs de Winter meet in Monte Carlo, all by chance. With an abrupt engagement and a quick wedding they surprise everyone. After a honeymoon in Venice, they move to Mandalay, their estate. The story picks up from here when the new Mrs de Winter is haunted by Rebecca, the old Mrs de Winter. Rebecca is the mistress of the house in the true sense. She is loved and respected by everyone. The new Mrs de Winters, not so much.
The plot thickens when new characters are introduced and Rebecca’s death is explored further. The story is intermingled with the inner voices within Mrs de Winters. There is a haunted element in the book as well that reveals itself from time to time.
Throughout the book the house has been brought to life through the writing. One can almost imagine living in the house around a curious estate. The plot was very much predictable. The end was, unfortunately, very abrupt. I had expected more from the book.
I will go ahead and watch the movie now. The movie is supposed to be one of the better classics! The book, however, failed to work its magic on me.
Language is the best part of the book. The writing takes you to the inner psychic of Mrs de Winters. She makes the book worthwhile.
There are some really good parts in the book. The beginning and the life-like impersonations of the book. The characterisation is one of the best features in the book. Daphne Du’Maurier is an excellent storyteller.
The plot, in spite of being out of the ordinary, failed to keep me gripped. The writing felt a little dragged at places. The end was surely disappointing.
If you are one for the plot and good storytelling then this book is for you. It did not have a classic-like appeal to me, somehow.
Who do I recommend this to?
To all the classics enthusiasts. Those who like good storytelling are going to enjoy this too.