For my last post for the Rebecca read-a-long, I thought it might be fun to look back at the review I wrote back in August of 2013 when I very first read the book. First though, some disclaimers. I have edited this review, but only in terms of grammar and the two or three mixed up words. We’re also not looking at the whole review because it’s 500 words long and not all of it is relevant. With that said, let’s look at this!
I hadn’t heard of this book either until my Grandma recommended it to me. My Grandma isn’t much of a reader anymore and she barely remembers all the books that she read when she was younger, but this book stood out in her memory.
Fun fact about this. My Grandma actually spoiled the ending for me probably in about 2011. I was staying up at her house with her and my Grandpa, I don’t remember how we got onto the topic of books, but she told me about Rebecca…and then promptly spoiled the ending. It took me a whole two years to forget about it and actually pick up the book.
From the very first line, I was drawn into this book and into Manderley and the lives of those who lived there.
What I didn’t talk about at all in this review is how slow the book is to start. I don’t know whether I was just lost in the writing that first time, but this time around I was really aware of how slow the book starts off. It actually takes quite a few chapters to actually get to Manderley, and I don’t remember it taking that long.
I think the characters were all written exceptionally. Each character had their up and downs—I felt sorrier than anything for Mrs de Winter, but there were moments when I didn’t know whether I liked Maxim or hated him. As with Mrs Danvers—I both hated her and pitied her at the same time. Rebecca, herself, was one of the most difficult characters to decide on—every time I grew more sympathetic towards her, something would pull me back into disliking her and even with the end, I still couldn’t decide how I felt.
I think I’d stick with most of this, though I think I almost have a little more respect for the narrator this time around. I don’t know why that is, but I felt like I could understand and appreciate her more this time around. You know who I didn’t mention in this original review? Jasper the dog—he is by far the most likable character in this book and I’ll stand by that statement forever.
I definitely think Rebecca is one of those books that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Well, I was right on that front. I haven’t reread Rebecca in the 7 years since my first read, but I could remember so much of it so clearly.
It felt like coming home, like going back to Manderley.