As I started reading this classic novel I realized that while I knew that Rebecca is the name of Maxim de Winter's dead wife, and that the story revolves around his new, young wife who remains unnamed throughout, and that it takes place at Manderley in Cornwall, I didn't know much about the story itself. Only that it's a modern Gothic. Oh, and I knew about the infamous Mrs. Danvers and her unkind treatment of her unnamed heroine. (Mostly because two of the main characters in Barbara Michaels' novel Into the Darkness discuss her at length.) So needless to say, I was curious about the rest of the story, and eager to know what the fuss is all about.
First of all, I have to say that I really like the way du Maurier writes: her descriptions of Manderley, her voice, and the way she sets a scene. She's good at building suspense and she also writes very memorable characters. I think it's impossible to have lukewarm feelings for Maxim and his new wife, or Mrs. Danvers. Or Rebecca herself. I either loved them, or hated them...or desperately wanted to slap them, which shows how invested I became in their lives, and in this story. There were times I got a little impatient with the pacing. And I got a little impatient with Maxim and his young bride, too. I wanted them to solve their miscommunications more quickly. But that's just because I wanted them both to be happy. All in all, I really liked this book. And I'm glad I finally got around to reading it (and that I finally know how it ends!). Now I can happily cross it off my "To Read" list and add Daphne du Maurier's name to my list of favorite authors.
Happy Birthday, Daphne du Maurier!
(And happy reading.)