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DAPHNE DU MAURIER - REBECCA

Rebecca written by Daphne Du Maurier

Written before World War II, Rebecca is rightly regarded as a classic novel. Championed by Alan Titchmarsh as Britain's Best Read during the recent BBC poll on the subject, this is a tight knit story that takes the reader into the world of paranoia with a steady grip on the arm.

The Rebecca of the title is dead, killed in a sailing accident. This leaves the way open for her millionaire husband, Maximillian de Winter, free to marry a naive young girl of no name - well, of a name that the reader never discovers.

 

Once hitched, the couple head for Max' fabulous country estate, Manderley, where the young wife discovers - or rather, begins to believe - that she has married above her station and that the place is 'haunted' by the memory of the seemingly perfect former Mistress of the house.

This is a novel based on the author needing to create empathy for the young bride. Without this emotion being wrung out of the reader at every turn, the book will fail to stir you. If you think, even for a moment, that she's nothing more than a silly young girl, du Maurier can be seen to have failed.

However, if the reader places him or herself in the exact same position as to that of the bride and find themselves agreeing with, or at least understanding, her decisions then I guarantee that the pages will flick by.

It's written from a position of strength, as du Maurier was trapped in an unhappy marriage from a young age herself and turned to writing as a form of escape. Rebecca was written whilst her family home was in the Cornwall in which the novel is set, though was put together whilst she was forced to live in Africa at her husband's side. As a result, some of the description can be said to be heavy, fanciful and relies a little too heavily on trying to sell the place to the reader, with du Maurier almost writing it as a travelogue in places. But none the less, if you like tense melodrama, then you'll be hard pushed to beat it.

Of course, it's up to you whether you agree or not. If you don't, why not let me know at the Feedback link on the Home page.
Happy Reading,
Chris !!

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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