(Point Form) (Audio) Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Point Form book reviews are my way off catching up on book reviews. They might be books I read awhile ago and still want to review or they might be books that I want to share but don’t necessarily feel I have tons to say about.

  • I wasn’t going to review Rebecca but then in responding to a comment from Melanie at Grab the Lapels, I realized I did have Thoughts that needed Sharing!
  • Do I really know what Gothic Horror is? Maybe not because I thought this book was supposed to be creepy.
  • It is not creepy. Unnerving in parts, sure, but that’s mostly because of people’s poor behaviour, not because of anything supernatural.
  • Probably should mention I don’t believe in ghosts so I didn’t really consider that Rebecca was truly haunting anyone here. Did du Maurier want me to think that? Unclear.
  • The narrator made so many poor decisions.
  • So many poor decisions. Plus, one good conversation between her and her husband could have cleared up a lot of the trouble.
  • Communication is important in marriage!
  • I had the most sympathy for the narrator but her lack of autonomy bothered me.
  • And that she had no name. I started calling her Anne in my mind.
  • Am I alone in thinking the story had a happy ending? Maybe now Anne can live her own life.
  • Except she’s still married to that guy.
  • The BBC Radio version was good.

14 thoughts on “(Point Form) (Audio) Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier”

  1. Apart from the first chapter, I wouldn’t think of this as Gothic horror – more psychological thriller. Yes, Maxim is much more attractive in the film due to being played by Laurence Olivier, but in the book he’s a great argument for making divorce easier…

    1. I’ve never seen any movie versions but I’d like to now that I’ve read the book. It’s hard to read a story like this and not approach it from a modern perspective of Why would you marry a man you know nothing about? And Why would you marry someone you feel like you can’t ask open, honest questions???

    1. She takes so little control or responsibility for anything! She won’t even tell us her name! I don’t know why it bothered me so much but I felt better once I started thinking of her as Anne. Or maybe Ann!

    2. Not naming the character was a terrific way to leave her as unimportant and overshadowed as possible. Very clever. But from now on, I’ll also think of her as Anne/Ann.

    3. It does work well as a device within the story – she’s not the main character even in her own telling of her story. And she has no one close enough to her to offer the tenderness of calling her by her name. I just got tired of her never standing up for herself!

    4. I expect if there was a follow up story she would be named. If nothing else, she seemed to have figured out/taken her place in the world by the end of the story.

  2. Should I be flattered, or horrified that you chose my name to attach to this narrator? hahah

    I remember reading this book a few years ago. I really enjoyed it, but I was frustrated by the same things you were, mainly, a lack of communication. It could have seriously cleared up quite a few things! The movie is fun as well 😉

    1. I know many lovely Annes – it’s not a statement against any of you! More so that it’s a common name for characters like this of the era and she didn’t exactly seem like someone who would have an unusual name.

    2. haha yes for sure. And I don’t come across many Anne’s these days, especially no one my age, so I sort of like that my name is going out of style haha

  3. In the book, the nature is so, so young, and Maxim is twice her age. You get this domineering father scolding his daughter sort of thing. However, we go on to learn that he’s trying to protect her from… I’m not sure. Seeing him in a bad light? Does she even care about his secret history? I really love Bea, in both the book and the movie. I am surprised by how in love the narrator is with maxim, and that she seems so lost in this world of wealth. I kind of wish we got to see more of her personal background and how she grew up quite poor. I know that the opening with her being a paid companion is supposed to explain all of that, but it doesn’t really seem like it’s enough for me. She’s quite witty, too.

    1. You’re right, I think there’s a lot of cultural context (her being a companion) that doesn’t quite translate to a modern reader. Her relationship with Maxim is completely uneven and it reads strangely now and it’s hard to see it as a happy ending that she’s still with him because he doesn’t seem like a safe person for her. I liked Bea too – I really have to watch a movie version of this and see if I feel any differently about it then.

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