Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Category: Modern classic, romance, suspense
Published: 1938, 380 pgs.
Review: 4/5 stars

Our book club read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier back in October with the idea that it was a good one for Halloween. Although it's not especially creepy, there is a sinister feeling to the book. I guess that's why Alfred Hitchcock turned it into a movie. I had tried to read this book when I was a senior in high school. It was an assigned book for my English class and most of the class was struggling to finish it. The night before the test, everyone came to my house and we watched the old Hitchcock version in hopes of getting enough out of it to pass the test. I'm from a really small town and my English teacher's house was just down the block and around the corner. I have a sneaky suspicion that she knew what we were doing. I can't remember what happened with that test. I think I did alright thanks to the movie.

So, this time around, I really read it. And I did enjoy it. I'm not going to say anything about it because if you haven't read and you want to someday, it's better if you don't know anything about it. There is one quote that I just love. I think I can share it without giving anything away.

I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then--how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.

I can completely identify with that feeling and I think it is so beautifully written. Fun read.

Rating: 1.2.2 (I can't remember exactly what is in this book. There may be a little light profanity and a little violence, thus the 2 ratings.)


KT said...

I read this book in high school too. I remember thinking the first 2/3 or so was SO boring, but I loved the ending. It's one I should really re-read. I love that quote too.

Suey said...

It's always been one of my favorites.

Charlotte said...

My feelings were the same as the above on my first read. The 2nd time I read it, though, I was less satisfied with the ending, felt the situation of the narrator was still a sinister one. Can't say more without spoilers.

Sharon said...

I have awarded you an I Love Your Blog award. (See details at my blog.) I love the variety of titles you review, and the ratings system you use. I think they need to change the movie rating system, so I'm not cringing during a PG-13 movie. Yikes!

Jeanette said...

This is one of those books that I know I should read and will probably really like but have never gotten around to reading. I'll have to do something about that soon.

caribookscoops said...

I always thought this book was a little strange. I read it, I think when I was in high school and had a hard time following the whole thing and then later I re-read the book in college. It's definitely a griping story. I can see why it became a Alfred Hitchcock movie.