Monday, May 25, 2015

Rebecca


Today I've read a lot.
I had to finish this novel, it was just too painstakingly exciting in the final 50 pages, they just had to be devoured immediately.
Luckily for me, we had planned a visit to the inlaws which makes for quite a drive. My little girl was resting in the back, after being sick for a while and she ended up sleeping a few minutes. Daddy likes to drive, so I was peacefully reading Rebecca. I wasn't finished when we got to where we were going, but the drive home again was more of the same. Amélie was sleeping soundly after five minutes and continued sleeping after we got home for a couple more hours. I hope she slept through what ailed her in the early afternoon, she seemed rather fit when she finally woke at the hour she usually goes to bed.

Having slept already she stayed up a little later than usual, so by the time I finally finished the final chapter it's already creeping towards ten in the evening. At the moment it's half past ten and I'm trying to convey a sense of what reading Rebecca meant to me. It absolutely triggered some familiarity, even though the novel is set in the early 1920's.

The novel is about a girl who gets herself hurriedly married to an older man, someone she really doesn't know all too well, with a past unknown to her but for a few rumours.
She's young for her age and falls in love as we all have at one point in our life, desperately and irrevocably. She thinks she's living her dream when Maxim de Winter asks her to marry him and join him at his estate 'Manderley' which accounts for the opening line of this novel: 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.' 

She's happy to join him but after their honeymoon abroad, when her tasks as mistress of a vast estate and its servants fall upon her she fails in becoming her own. She's very nervous and feels like she is feigning the part of being a good wife. The longer she stays at Manderley, the more she is intimidated by the shadow of her husband's deceased wife and finds herself stumbling to save the shards of her marriage until a climatic turn of events sets her whole world on edge. Hence the obsessive reading today.

I liked this story, I liked it very much.
I hadn't heard of it before, I was just looking for a novel to read to try and complete my centennial challenge. Rebecca got a good score at Goodsreads, so I went and tried it. I wasn't let down.
I've read better english novels, the kind you can't compare to anything, such as Pride and Prejudice and The Woman in White, but Rebecca has its own charm. Maybe it's due to myself not being the most confident lady around, especially when I was younger, but I definitely could identify with the heroine and I found the writing style to be unobtrusively detailed. I could almost smell the sea air and flowers when she leaned out of her window.
A must-read for anyone who likes reading early 20th century english novels, because Rebecca doesn't seem as well known as some others. Definitely not in my neck of the woods.

Must go and find another fine book to read..

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