An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
So I finally finished Rebecca. It took a while but I got there. I have to say, the last 100 pages of the book or so were absolutely amazing. I could not put the book down. Well, I had to because my laundry was done and I had to leave the laundromat, but as soon as I got home and my laundry was put away, I went right back to reading and had the book finished within the hour.
I wasn't surprised when Maxim said that he had killed Rebecca. I hadn't been sure if that was the truth or not, but I wasn't surprised. After that point I actually found myself liking him more. I think it's because it was so obvious that he was hiding something all throughout the book that to finally find out what it was was a relief to both him, our heroine, and me. It was like he had taken off a mask and we could see what I hope to be the real Maxim, 'cause I liked him quite a bit after that point.
The hearings and Favell's attempt at blackmail put me so much on edge at the end. I had a hard time breathing when they found Dr. Baker and couldn't relax until after he told them that Rebecca had cancer, thus giving credibility to the suicide story. The way it all wrapped up was just absolutely stunning to me. It had me feeling the same way I felt when I first read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: Stunned and somewhat stupid. Danvers was definitely right. Rebecca was a clever one and she fooled everyone it seems, myself included.
Between Maxim, Danvers, and Favell, I really dislike Rebecca. Anyone who could be with Favell had to be a little nasty themselves, since I found him absolutely repulsive. At the part where he was alone with our narrator, I was terrified he was going to try and hurt her. Luckily that wasn't the case, but I wouldn't put it past him. He made me more uneasy than a character has made me feel in a long time. Anyway, back to Rebecca. I've known people like her in real life and they've always left me feeling miserable. The cancer twist for her seemed like poetic justice. It is interesting to see how well she thought everything through, from the moment she married Maxim. She was incredibly intelligent and definitely a worthy adversary. She basically won in the end with the destruction of Manderly. At least, that's how it seems to me. But I applaude du Maurier for being able to create such a presence with her. Despite being dead and us never physically seeing her, Rebecca had the strongest presence out of every other character in the book. When I think back on the characters, she always comes to me first.
I have to say, the end, meaning the last page and final conclusion, was disappointing to me. Not because it wasn't happy. I wasn't expecting a happy ending, especially not after the way the story began. It just seemed too abrupt. Just like, THE END. I would have liked just a little more, one more image or thought from the narrator besides just the image of Manderly burning. Maybe I had just psyched myself up too much. After all the tension of the rest of the book, it just seemed a little lame to end it with just, "Oh, Manderly is burning". It was a beautiful image, just not a conclusive one. That's how I feel about it though.
Overall, I enjoyed the books. I liked the mystery and all the character and found the story satisfying. I'll probably read it again one of these days. I just which the pacing had been a little faster and the ending more satisfying. For that reason, I give it 7/10. Good book, not great. But I'm glad to have read it.
Anyway, onto the next book. Only problem now is choosing which one. But that's a good problem to have, don't you think?