SugarHouse Mama

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

(Love this original cover)

This was the book club book for the month. I'm a little disappointed I will be in Denver when we meet.

Anyway, let's get right to it. The book let me down. I was annoyed by the main character/narrator. She was so insecure - too insecure. It bothers me when an author takes one trait for the character and focuses primarily on it. I found myself skimming over the narrator's lengthy discussions of her insecurities and thoughts. It was just too much.
The dress bit was so predictable. I was annoyed that she made such a big deal of it - I guess because I saw it coming, the sense of shock just wasn't there for me. I just kept saying, "big deal, put on something else."
The whole mystery over Rebecca's last day alive wasn't suspenseful or surprising for me either. Again, I found myself skimming through most of the end, just wanting to get the book finished so I could move on to another one.
Maxim's true feelings for Rebecca were a surprise; however, I think it made the characters less dynamic. It took away the only depth of character I found in the book. (sigh)
I really liked the idea of Maxim struggling between love for his late wife and love for his new, younger and awkward one. I think that revelation patronized the narrator and her feelings of insecurity. I would have liked to see an ending that allowed the characters more complexity.
I hate to admit it, but as I read the book I kept thinking it would make a better movie. (I haven't yet seen any of the movie adaptations, but I am eager to see if this holds true). It reminded me a lot of the movie What Lies Beneath: a wife haunted by a woman from her husband's past, living with and contending with that presence on a daily basis. The water imagery was even present in both. I felt like that movie handled the suspense a lot better than this book. I wonder if Rebecca was inspiration for the script....
Anyway, I didn't hate the book, and I certainly wouldn't have read it if it weren't a book club book, but at least it was a fast read. It got me through the two days I spent in AZ while Robert was attending his conference and I sat out by the pool!

1 comment:

timid said...

Rebecca (directed by Alfred Hitchcock) was based on this book. It is rated in the top 100 movies at IMDb. I saw the movie back in my high school days (I think I've seen all of Hitchcock's movies), but I can't remember much of it. Time to add it to my Blockbuster queue and refresh my memory.