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12 November 2007

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Chapters 1-3
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jess

I'm in chapter 2 (audio) and I'll post soon.

Becky

I have posted on the first three chapters.

http://readingwithbecky.blogspot.com/2007/11/becky-reads-rebecca-pt-1.html

Elizabeth

Your edition has a much spiffier cover than mine does. Does the fact this bothers me make me shallow?

cc

Elizabeth: is yours just red with the big fancy "R" on it? Count me among the miffed as well.

Leila

I'm actually reading the library's copy, which was rebound years ago and thus, boring. My personal copy is currently in hiding. The cover on that copy is way lame, and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, as I just went through ten pages of Google Images looking for it and it didn't appear once.

I used this image because I liked it, and because I'm sad that I don't have it. So, no. You're totally not shallow. (Or, if you are, so am I. We can hang out and be shallow together.)

Elizabeth

Yes, that's the one. Totally un-gothic design. Like if REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM had been reissued by Avon in the '80's.

Leila

Becky, over at Reading with Becky mentions the line, "We have no secrets now from one another", which shows up in Chapter Two, less than a page before the narrator says that she will keep the things that hurt to herself and less than a page after she says that she will not tell him about her dream -- and also points out that she doesn't tell Mrs. Van Hopper about the apology note.

She also talks about how vivid the description is at the end of the second chapter, when the narrator is talking about her life with Mrs. Van Hopper, and I agree. I could see and hear everything -- my brain even added background noise, silverware clinking, murmuring, etc. -- from the moment the narrator began talking about the past.

I am so jazzed to be reading this with you all.

Gail

Should we be blogging about this at our own blogs or commenting here?

I am just skimming the book because I read it as a teenager, and read it again as an adult (when I found it a little disappointing). I am finding parts of this book heartbreaking because I know what's going to happen. Plus, I don't know if anyone else is getting the fact that the situation that she is in now, while she's recalling her youthful past, isn't terrific.

Also, I read a Guardian article about the book last spring that suggested that this book is a twentieth century variation on a 19th century novel I love. Reading it knowing this is fantastic. I am reading much more of the book than I expected to.

The depth and sophistication of DuMaurier's writing is making me feel inadequate.

Oh, and one more thing--There's an interesting aspect to this book that I totally did not get as a teenager. It was pointed out to me in something I read years later. Should I mention it?

Well, I just commented here.

Big sense of place here. Manderley is like a character.

Leila

It's totally up to you, Gail. If you want to blog about it over there, just let me know when you do and I'll link up. But, of course, you're very welcome to just comment here instead. (Or as well! Your call. I want this to be fun for people, and not work.)

This is my first time reading it, and I'm very definitely getting the impression that her situation (now) is not a very good/happy one. It seems like she (the narrator) is trying to gloss over the fact that things aren't very good, but I'm not sure if she's trying to convince the reader or herself.

What's the other novel from the Guardian article?

Your call on bringing up the aspect -- if it's a huge plot spoilery thing, I personally would rather wait (Shocking that I've managed to mostly avoid everything about this story up until now, isn't it?), but if it's something else, I'm all for it. Like I said, though, your call.

Emmaco

I've just posted about the first three chapters - I was hooked too. And I'm please to report I have the pretty copy.

I also picked up on the not happy vibe of the narrator. I got the feeling she's trying to convince herself everything is OK with her bland exiled life because she has no alternative.

jessmonster

I agree that it sounds like her situation at the beginning of the story is less than great. Not wanting to run into people they knew before? Being so bored that a dated cricket score is the only thing that saves them? Writing down her story is probably the most interesting thing she's got going.

I'm also curious about why we don't know her name - just that it's unusual.

Gail

That's the bit I didn't notice when I was a teenager--the narrator is never named. She is always referred to as the second Mrs. DeWinter. She has no identity other than as Maxim DeWinter's wife. As a teenager, that shot right over my head. As an adult the fact that she has no name, no identity is very significant to me.

This time through I noticed that Maxim says her name is unusual, too. Her name is unusual, yet he never uses it, nor does anyone else.

If I tell you the name of the book from the Guardian article, I think it will be something of a spoiler. Because now that someone else has pointed it out to me, I think the parallels are really obvious and marvelous.

I will tell you, though, that the British seem to love this book so much that they make TV productions of the thing regularly. I've seen two on Masterpiece Theatre in the last, maybe, fifteen years, one with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Danvers. One of them, I think the one with Diana Rigg, suggested a lesbian connection between Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers.

Leila

I think it's fantastic that we never find out what her name is. (Both because it says something about her, the narrator, and about the other characters.) Have you (you being the general you, this isn't only directed at poor Gail) ever tried to tell a story like that? Seems like it must be a seriously tricky.

When she's talking about the apology note, she mentions that Maxim spelled her name right, which (she says) is unusual, as it's an unusual name.

Ooooooooooooooooooo. (That's in response to both the unnamed book in the Guardian article and to the Diana Rigg production of Rebecca. I'm looking forward to finding out the title of the Secret Book from the 19th century.)

cc

Oh, can I vote for not telling the 19th c. parallel? I want to try to figure it out. (Though I think I have a good guess already.)

Leila

Oh, I vote that way, too, definitely! At least until I'm done reading Rebecca.

Gail

Yeah, I think you'll be happier waiting. On the other hand, I'm very happy knowing. But that's probably because I've read the book before and already knew it's secrets and thus can enjoy reading it with this new knowledge.

Gail

I can't believe I said "it's" for "its" in that last sentence. Just two and a half hours ago I told a family member that the possessive is its. How humbling.

nuganydayjap

Melanie looked surprised.

this is weird a website.

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