So much more than expected!
I held off reading this book for a long time - even though it came highly recommended from varied sources -because the book itself is marketed as a romance. And I'm not fond of romances. While there is a story of love in the book, the unraveling of figuring out Rebecca is so much more than that.
This is a book that wants to defy classification. Mystery & suspense is where my gut says to place it, but it's unlike any other I've read. After a tad bit of a slow start, I simply HAD to keep reading and became completely engrossed.
This book was rightfully recommended to me, and I'm sorry I put off reading it as long as I did. You don't want to miss this fascinating book.
Loved it. I'm surprised this story was written in '38, and I hadn't heard of it till now. The mystery, while a bit predictable, was played out with such great eeriness and foreboding that I didn't care that I'd figured it out. I did find that reading Chapter 1 again after turning the last page was even more interesting, and I recommend everyone else do the same...just for the fun of it.
The novel begins, as does a Sherlock Holmes story, with a hint of the denouement. It bodes of tragedy. As I read, I find that her writing rivals that of the Brontes. Rebecca de Winter is an unusual protagonist. She has a secret. Unfortunately, she cannot disclose it, as our heroine has been dead for at least a year. Little by little, we learn about her from the narrator, the next Mrs. de Winter, as she interacts with a host of supporting characters. Rebecca is a maven, and it seems to me as if she is a forebear of Martha Stewart. The deeper that I get into this novel, I return to the title page to verify that I am not reading Jane Eyre. No, wait! It cannot be! They are zipping around in motorcars. At the onset, we are told the fate of Manderley, the de Winter estate. It is similar to that of ?????? Will Du Maurier's characters share a common fate with those of Charlotte Bronte's? I am intrigued by the enigmas. Rebecca is loved by everyone, but what is her secret? What is the next Mrs. de Winter's given name? Her husband never mentions it; to all else she is Mrs. de Winter. I wait while the narrator peels away the layers that reveal the true Rebecca. Finally, the end sends us back to the beginning. Holmes again. But, certainly not quite Finnegan's Wake.