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Topic: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - spoilers definitely(later on!)

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Subject: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - spoilers definitely(later on!)
Date Posted: 7/27/2009 6:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I just started this book after seeing it recommended so many times here. I think it was in a thread about re-reads, among other threads recommending books. I'm maybe 70 pages or so into the story and am just finding an 'uncomfortable' interst in the book. I'm not one who minds spoilers (though I did refrain from turning to the end) but I read several reviews on amazon.com (the ones that rated it '1'star) and my suspicions seem to be concerned about who did it and the wimpiness of the heroine (as well as my suspicion she'd never have a name!) and I'm not that impressed though I feel there's more to the book/story and I don't want to miss what I"m supposed to get out of this. Now dont know how to ask stuff without spoilers but if she's wimpy and the jerk hubby is treating her badly and allowing the staff to do the same then why the heck is she still with him? Am I gonna be reading some kinda codependent enabling emotional abuse book or is this really one of those 'timeless classics' that I'll read and enjoy or identify with?

In other words spoil it and tell me exactly why you enjoyed this book(if you did enjoy it that is!) so far I'm feeling a'gothic' feel and some suspense and getting the feel there's insanity involved or someone trying to drive her crazy perhaps.



Last Edited on: 7/31/09 9:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/27/2009 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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The best I can say (someone else will do better) is KEEP READING.  The tension builds beautifully and you'll enjoy the book more if we don't spoil it for you.  You are correct that she will never have a name but there's no need to worry that she's being gaslighted--there's a lack of communication between characters (and Mrs. Danvers really is that creepy).

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
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The book is kind of a 'detective' story, where the main characters are trying to either reveal or conceal what really happened to Rebecca.  If you enjoy mysteries and romance stories, STAY WITH IT...you won't be sorry! 

Also, keep in mind that the book was written in the 1930's.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will give you a hint....'loyalty' is the driving force behind everything that happens in the story.

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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There, see, I knew someone would sum it up better than I could!

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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oookkaayyy! well at least I know whatever  happens that she's alive 'cause it starts off the book 'after the fact'! :-)

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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Nice try though!  :)

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Susanna, if we tell you the ending...you won't enjoy the journey.  Half of the fun in reading this classic, are the twists and turns along the way! 

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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well I kinda got part of the ending thanks to the critics on amazon!

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2008
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REBECCA is notoriously 'slow to start' - give it some more time . . .KEEP READING! 

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Ah well, it's really a Gothic novel IMHO, and at least this one is well-written. There are lots of later ones by other authors that leave one wondering why the heroine doesn't just, for heavens sake, walk away from the mess, as one would hope any female of any spirit and intelligence would do. If the book continues to annoy you, try watching the older movie version, with Joan Fontaine and (Yum!) Lawrence Olivier. The nameless heroine is no less wishy-washy, but you get to see Olivier, and also Judith Andereson having a fine old time being Mrs. Danvers.
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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well I'm still at the beginning(stopped to finish some lighter reading I had handy since I'm on night shift this week!) though I may read some more before bed in the morning. It was reminding me a bit of how I felt reading Victorica Holt(only read a couple of hers and they were kinda eerie...)

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2006
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Let us know what you think as you get along in your reading.  I love this book, and it does have its suspense and twists, and things aren't at all what they seem - as in her husband isn't abusive, etc.  If that's enough to go on, I encourage you to keep reading!

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 5:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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well I'm just now to the part where they've arrived at Manderley and she's sitting in a chair with the dog leaning against her realizing she's sitting in Rebecca's chair. almost 100 pages but not quite! the author does write well though..a lot of descriptions and thoughts..if it weren't for mention of a car and driving and phones I could almost imagine a horse drawn carriage going through the woods! it has that eerie isolated feel to it.

eta: ok I"m farther along now but about to go to bed since I gotta work night shift tonight. Hope she gets a backbone soon LOL! now she's comparing herself to the dog and feeling inferior. I don't care for how they're treating her and how her husband joins in but gosh she's practically asking for it how she's acting at times! it's good though. not sure I'll be able to read at work 'cause I think this is one I'd hate being interrupted with work while I'm reading!

Is there anything else similar to this? Or just good for women in general? I've already read Joy in the Morning and liked it...also liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Thinking 'bout reading Pride and Prejudice since I've never read that either..I think my entire  high school required reading was basically crapola except for maybe MacBeth..that one I kinda liked! but could've done without romeo, 1984, lord of the flies, animal farm..geez...could've been reading the good stuff!



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 7:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
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i remember we had to read this book during the summer before 10th grade, and everyone had the same response, it started off VERY slow but once you hit that certain part, BAM it was the best book we had to read all year

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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Is this couple even sleeping together? I'm asking 'cause there's been no mention yet when her sil asked if she were preggers she was absolutely positively sure she wasn't...

boy I was trying to sleep today(working nights tonight and tomorrow night) and I kept having bad dreams and some were loosely based on this book!

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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Ok finished! Pretty good but gosh I think everyone was nutso! I never really got attached to any of the characters..I felt sorry for different ones at different times but I agree loyalty is a driving force but also greed too perhaps for some. anyways, glad I read it and glad I wasn't the one living that life!

Subject: Further reading
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
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Yes, do try Pride and Prejudice, and see if you can imagine what Elizabeth Bennet would have done in the Manderly situation. Lizzy takes no guff even from highborn ladies, and I like to imagine a scene where she gives Mrs. Danvers what-for. Or you could try Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, written when Gothic novels had been big hits for long enough so it seemed time for a parody of them.
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 6:35 PM ET
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Do all of Jane Austen's have HEAs?  I had the feeling in Rebecca that Mrs. Danvers really wasn't 'all there' either she was as bad as Rebecca or her death really drove her over the edge. But Rebecca did still continue to destroy everyone's life even after death. And one line made me wonder exactly what all her relationship(danvers and rebecca) entailed..I kinda got the feeling there might've been more 'love' between them when she was saying how Rebecca had no use for men but then she was with enough of 'em so dunno. Just wish I had a reading group to discuss stuff with 'cause this would've been a great one for that!

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
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If you liked "Joy in the Morning" (I'd forgotten about that book and how much I loved it as a teen; may have to reread), try "An Episode of S

ETA:  It's so interesting to me to read how you are interpreting Rebecca in modern-day sensibilities, when it was written in the '30s about the 20s, and life was so different then.  Isn't it intersting how times change?



Last Edited on: 7/31/09 5:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/31/2009 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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SPOILERS: dont' read if you haven't read the book 'cause I'm talking 'bout the ending, etc!

yeah I 'd like to find a discussion group for Rebecca and talk it out! I wasn't sure when it was set - I know someone said or I read it was written in the 30s but I kept getting an older feel to it until I'd remember the cars and phone! but really no one in the story was right or wrong IMO - I know Rebecca was supposedly 'evil' but the guy married her and chose to stay married and pretend t hey were happy to 'save face' and 'Manderley' knowing what kind of person he was with..he could've ended it and just started over. I dont' think he ever loved the 2nd Mrs De Winter just her innocence(maybe to make up for his guilt and nightmares? though I dont' think he's sorry for what he did except in the sense of being caught)..the new Mrs. De Winter - ok she wanted a change but very little is known about her though the begining was so slow I wasn't totally paying attention - but she was with this employer and happy for the little bit of money though it's never known for sure if she was really looking for a better opportunity..she was determined to tell him good-bye and did seem innocently shocked by his proposal then desperate to please him and keep him..kneeling on teh floor at his knees and all that. I saw no affection or anything close to love and all that creepiness I'd have been outta there! plus, I can understand her being caught up inthe honeymoon and all that but she KNEW she was gonna be filling some 'big shoes' and should've pushed to know what to expect or at the very least have gone to see the guy's sister and gotten more advice(since she didnt' take the advice/hints she gave her at the visit about hair/clothes, etc)..then that Mrs. Danvers - she was beyond loyal to Rebecca..like there was just 'more there' like love or something or a 'kindred spirit' because nothing she did other than almost push her mentally over the edge at one point was something she physically forced on the new wife. and the one who 'knew' only acted out because he wanted money as blackmail payment. and the new wife my gosh she practically had an orgasm and came to lifewhen he told her the truth! I mean that's about as sick as anything else!

and w hat's weird is that after being caught up in the story and liking it(still like it) it t urned out that everything was so simple to avoid in the first place but it was like a huge bowl of spaghetti where everything got tangled up when every noodle chose to  jump in the bowl and get caught up in everything! I'm so used to stories having 'good guys' or 'bad guys' but in this all were good and all were bad..all gray I guess instead of black and white.

anyways really good book and I'm glad I read it!

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I can't find An Episode of S'..who wrote it?

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
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For some weird reason, the end of that sentence completely disappeared!

What I said was "An Episode of Sparrows" by Rumer Godden, and that Rumer Willis (Demi & Bruce's oldest daughter) is named after her.

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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ok thanks!