Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier & NaNo Day 6


"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Rebecca was perhaps the biggest surprise of the year for me so far. I had always thought Rebecca to be a romance novel, mostly due to a horribly misleading cover which I wouldn't look twice at (luckily it's out in a new trade paperback version with a great cover that I picked up which is pictured in this post!). The misleading cover is bright red with "Rebecca" written in gold slanting letters...I'm sure you've seen it. I've always known of Hitchcock's movie, Rebecca, but didn't know that it was a production of Daphne Du Maurier's novel! When I saw that people were reading Rebecca for the RIP Challenge, I put two and two together and came out of the experience with what will most definitely make the top ten list of 2007!

At it's heart, Rebecca is a ghost story, though there is no true ghost in the novel as far as what we traditionally think of as a ghost. It's the story of walking in the shoes of someone that you've never known, of taking over the life of someone you've never known. It's the story of a past that continually haunts the present. The narrator of the novel meets a man by the name of Maxim DeWinter, who's wife, Rebecca, has recently drowned. To make a long story short, the narrator and Maxim marry and she is brought to Manderley, a grand and well-known house where she lives a life in a part of society that she has never known. But she is no Rebecca. She knows nothing of this type of society and she fears that Maxim will never love her like he loved Rebecca. The second Mrs. DeWinter slowly uncovers who Rebecca was and the secrets surrounding her life.

This books was just amazing and took twists and turns that I never suspected. It was just an incredibly classic story and I never wanted it to end. I haven't been so disappointed by reaching a books end in ages. And it wasn't the ending that I was disappointed in, it was just the fact that it had ended. This book reminded me so much of The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian. If you liked the atmosphere of those books, I think you'd enjoy this one. Like those two, this one does a wonderful job of telling it's reader a riveting story. There will definitely be more Daphne Du Maurier in my future!

In other news, I broke the 10,000 word mark today in NaNoWriMo! And a wonderful character emerged. Deslily made a joke in a comment awhile back asking if there was a part for her in my book. So I said, sure, why not?! lol...So she became a queen and was introduced today in Chapter 5 and I really like her character! I've posted the beginning of chapter 5 in my "excerpt" section of my NaNo profile if anyone's interested. It's under the beginning of chapter 2 so just scroll down until you get to chapter 5. You can get to my profile by clicking the NaNo link in my sidebar. Please excuse any typos or grammatical mistakes...I haven't proofread anything! I just copied and pasted. Add me as a friend if you're doing NaNo! I'd love to get a little group of NaNo buddies over there :)

38 comments:

Chris said...

I'm so glad you loved Rebecca. It's one of my favorite books. And I know that red cover. It is a terrible cover.

Chris said...

Chris, I can see why it's one of your favorites! Isn't that cover terrible? It's so misleading! It makes it look like a Danielle Steele book or something. I can't think of a single guy I know who would buy a book with a cover like that!

DesLily said...

It's funny that you were reading Rebecca when just the other day I watched the movie on tv!! I was going to ask if you saw it but figured I didn't want to spoil the book for you! I'm glad you liked it that much!! (the movie is fantastic too!)

From now on anyone that leave a comment at my blog can address me as Queen DesLily lol lol.. And bow low or I'll swipe you with my wings! (so cool lol.. i carry my own airconditioning around hehe)

Bellezza said...

Didn't you just love it? Weren't you absolutely shocked at the ending?! I've read it several times in my life, the first when I was seventeen, and I'll never forget all the twists and turns. I wouldn't compare it to The Thirteenth Tale or The Historian because in my mind, it's far superior to those two novels. But, I do agree on the atmospheric quality they all three create.

I could just picture Rebecca, with her short hair and arrogant ways...

Chris said...

Your Royal Majesty Queen Deslily, LOL! You know I'm shocked I've never seen Rebecca. I'm such a huge Hitchcock fan. Spellbound, Suspicion, Rope, Vertigo, Dial M For Murder, are all some of my favorite old movies...but I've never seen Rebecca. Must have been saving it for after the book! And you better behave with those wings or I'll take them back just as quick as I gave them to you! lol!

Bellezza, I really was! When I got to that part I literally said "What the hell?" out loud, lol! I'd have to agree that it's superior to The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian but the feel of it reminded me of those books...it had that haunting atmosphere to it. I just want to go back and read it again right now! Oh, I can picture Rebecca too...I really have to go rent the movie now and see how Hitchcock did with translating it onto the screen. I kept picturing Cary Grant as Maxim, though I know he doesn't play him in the movie, lol.

Eva said...

I was surprised by Rebecca as well (in a good way)! Congrats on the NaNoWriMo achievement. :D (hope that acronym is right, lol)

Chris said...

Eva, The acronym is indeed correct ;) and thanks! Wasn't Rebecca great? I can't wait to get my hands on some more Du Maurier.

DesLily said...

Well you have to see the movie! You're right Hitchcock does a great job.

I'm keeping an eye on your word count daily at the other site!!

Dark Orpheus said...

10,000 words? You're one-quarter through then! Congratulations.

Rebecca said...

LOL..I have the red-covered version with gold lettering....it's on a shelf with various knick knacks and pretty things in my living room. There were two reasons I have it basically displayed 1)the red matches the floor in our living room (i kid you not. When we first moved in,all I could think of was The Shining or something) and 2) Rebecca is my name and I just thought it was humorous(even if it is slightly narcissistic).

There's about 6 different versions about how I came to be named Rebecca and one of them says I was named after this book so it's become one of my faves too :)

Stephanie said...

I really enjoyed Rebecca when I read it. And yes, I had the book with the red cover. In actuality, I think I liked My Cousin Rachel by du Maurier even better. I read it earlier this year. du Maurier has the whole gothic novel thing down to a tee!!

Contrats on the 10,000 words!! Way to go!

jean pierre said...

well done on your nano word mark!

and in response to your comment in the previous post, charlotte can't do it this year 'cause she's started her law conversion course... and me... well, i've thought about giving it a go, but not that much. i've always thought i'd like to give something like that a go, and i have written a few plays...

so yeah, perhaps next year...

charlotte loves rebecca. she's not the biggest reader, but that is THE book she's always tried to get me to read.

don't feel alone about your thoughts on the book - i always thought the same thing! even after i hitchcock did a film about it. the name "du maurier" doesn't help either, does it! (not that its not a nice name, of course - just sounds romancy...)

Amy said...

I read this one earlier this year for a classics challenge. I liked it well enough but I did have a few issues with it. Still, it was a fun read.

Becky said...

I've just checked this one out. :)

Chris said...

D-O, Thanks! I'm hoping I can keep my momentum going and actually see this thing out to the end. It would be such a great feeling to have written a book! I still really don't know where I'm going with this thing though :p

Rebecca, Now you see, you have an excuse to have the horrid red cover :p Your house sounds really cool! I've always loved the name Rebecca. In fact, I named one of the characters in my book Rebecca...no doubt because I was reading Rebecca when I started writing...though my character is nothing at all like Du Maurier's.

Stephanie, I'll definitely have to check out My Cousin Rachael. If you liked it even more than Rebecca than it must be good! I read in the afterword of Rebecca that Du Maurier didn't think that Rebecca was the best of her books, so I'm really looking forward to reading more of her stuff!

JP, Ugh, good luck to Charlotte with her law stuff! That sounds rough. I think that NaNo actually has some sort of program now for playwrights or screenwriters now! Isn't that cool? So you may find something that fits you perfectly next year. That's awesome that you've written plays. We learn something new about you every day! You really should read Rebecca. I think you would love it. It was an amazing book. Very creepy and such a classic story! It was great! Tell Charlotte that I said she should get on you even more about it ;)

Amy, I can't say I had any issues with this one. I really enjoyed it. Glad it was still a fun read for you though! Have you read any of Du Maurier's other stuff? I'm curious on where to go from here.

Becky, Yay! You're going to love it. It was FANtastic!

Debi said...

Oh, you've got me so excited now! I've never read Rebecca, but I put in on my list for Annie's challenge. (I saw you were reading, so I figured it was probably a good one! Seriously.) I love, love, love Hitchcock films! But that just happens to be one the ones I just haven't seen. Will have to remedy that as well.

Congrats on topping 10,000! Over a fifth of the way there...woohoo! And I'm so excited to head over and read your new excerpt!

Chris said...

Debi, You're gonna LOVE Rebecca. It rocks! It was one of the few Hitchcocks that I hadn't seen either and I'm so glad that I hadn't. It definitely would've ruined the book. I can't wait for you to read it. I can't imagine you not liking it :)

Debi said...

I just had to pop back in. I just read your excerpt from Chapter 5. Chris, it's spectacular! I'm totally serious...not just saying it because I "know" you. You have to promise to let us read the whole thing when you're finished! Not to would just be plain cruel, you know.

Court said...

Rebecca is one of my favourites! And that is my absolute favourite opening line from any book I've read. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the book, and that it will probably make your top ten list for the year. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

Rebecca is such a good book! I remember reading it while I was in high school. I'm thinking about doing a re-read soon though!

Chris said...

Debi, You're too much :p I'll see what I can do. I don't know if I'm going to publish the whole thing online but I'll sneak it to you after I get it all edited ;)

Court, It's a perfect first line and it was destined to become a classic from the second she wrote it. It really is an amazing novel from the opening page to the closing page. Loved it! I can see why it's a favorite of yours.

Ladytink, I'll definitely do a re-read of this one somewhere down the line. I'm telling you, I wanted to start again at the beginning right after I finished it! I was so upset when it ended! Great book!

DesLily said...

I just went to your book list for this year..*smirk*.. i am proud!!!

Chris said...

Deslily, And proud you should be! How's that for a page number! I'm looking at my measly 48 pages that I've written so far...psht, lol!

Booklogged said...

Deslily is such a spunky character. I hope I remember to refer to her as 'Queen' Deslily. Good luck with your writing, Chris.

Glad to hear you straightened everything out about Rebecca. It is a good book, isn't it?

Rhinoa said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Rebecca. I read it was I was a young teenager and I really enjoyed it. It might be time for a re-read soon. I'm glad you found a better cover that got you to give it a go...

heather (errantdreams) said...

I'm glad to hear NaNo is going so well!!

DesLily said...

just checked your nano site!! wow! the word count is fabulous Chris!!!

Chris said...

Booklogged, Thanks! Rebecca really is a good book. I'm so glad that I was able to throw my misconceptions aside about the book. It would've been ashame if I would've never read that one.

Rhinoa, I'm glad I found a better cover too ;) I'd say it's time for a reread as well! I have a feeling that this one would be lots of fun to read for a second time.

Heather, So far so good! It's lots of fun...you should do it next year!

Deslily, Yeah, today was quite productive! The ideas were flowing like crazy...I know how things are going to end now too, so I have a goal to work towards!

DesLily said...

Great news on the ending!..

when I wrote the kesterwood books I knew the beginning and ending of each before I began.. then i started to write and at intervals the characters took me places I had no idea of going, had to find my way "back" so I could continue towards the end, and it would happen again!.. but if it hadn't, it would have been a very short story! lol..
So .. this is good you know the ending!! Now you can give your characters some "freedom to roam"! hehehe

Chris said...

Deslily, They have all the freedom they want :) It's like they're the boss and I'm just along for the ride...I just hope that I can control them enough to get them to the ending that I want to get them to. God, I really do sound like I'm nuts, don't I? lol...

aichaku-愛着 said...

Rebecca is one of my all-time favourite books. I read it when I was much younger and I recall the cover was really simple, more like a mystery novel. I guess marketing for the book marketing changes with the times!

Chris said...

Aichaku, I can see why it's one of your favorite books! Covers definitely change with the times and this new cover is certainly a reflection of that I think.

Amy said...

Chris- No I haven't read anything else by DuMaurier bit I would be interested in trying something else. I will be interested to hear if you find another good one.

Chris said...

Amy, I'll let you know if I find another good one! I'm thinking of reading Jamaica Inn next, though Stephanie recommended My Cousin Rachael...we'll see.

Carl V. said...

oops, guess I should have scrolled down before I left my comment in the later post! ;)

Glad you enjoyed it. I had the same experience years ago when I read Rebecca. It was not what I expected and I loved it. I recommend checking out the A&E...or is it BBC?...version with Diana Rigg in it. It is very good and faithful to the story.

Chris said...

Carl, Looks like I'm following right behind you ;) This book blew me away! So much more than what I was expecting! I'll definitely keep my eyes open for that version. I haven't seen any of them and I'm really anxious to see one now. I can't wait to see Manderley! And I'm curious to see how Rebecca is portrayed compared to how I pictured her...if she's even showed in the movies.

Literacy-chic said...

I picked up Rebecca years ago at my grandmother's house purely by accident one summer when I was in high school. I was also expecting a much different book. I have a few problems with it--the main character is a bit hard to visualize for me, the age difference between she & her new husband doesn't work for me, and I don't like the opening at all! (The famous lines you quote.) But none of those things really matter. It is a very enjoyable book. I didn't know about the film. Is it good? Well, I guess if it's Hitchcock... I have the feeling that I read My Cousin Rachel, but I can't remember anything about it!! I had never thought about Du Maurier in the context of Gothic lit. Fun stuff!

Chris said...

N, I still haven't seen the film? I'm sure your mom has a copy of it somewhere...I'll have to make her dig it up ;) For some reason the age difference didn't bother me...I just sort of forgot about it, but I know what you mean. Whenever it was actually mentioned in the book, I'd think "oh yeah, there's that" but then I'd forget about it again. I really enjoyed it though and I'll be reading more Du Maurier to see what I think. I had no idea, but apparently she also wrote The Birds and Jamaica Inn!