I totally checked this out of the library while in the middle of My Cousin Rachel because I knew it would be awesome, and I was going to read it superfast on Tuesday so I could review it Wednesday morning and be all, HA! I totally anticipated ALL of you! But that, quite frankly, would have been unsatisfying without any of you actually here, and I would have whizzed through an excellent book for nothing.
But you were right. Rebecca is brooding and stressful and great. THIS IS WHAT BOOKS ARE MEANT TO BE! So, our nameless narrator (can we call her Betty? This will be so much easier if we can call her Betty) is plain and poor and orphaned and young and Jane-Eyre-esque except without the spine until the moody, handsome, Mr Rochester-esque Maximilian de Winter swoops in and marries her. THE END!
Just jokes. I mean, they do get married. But then they go back to de Winter’s Manor House (because this is set in an era where a guy named de Winter would still have a Manor House and obsequious servants, but also a car. The 20s? I dunno) where the ghost of his 10-months-dead wife Rebecca still haunts the halls. Not literally, though, which actually might be less scary, because a literal ghost you can ask who it wants you to kill to avenge its death, or let it teach you a valuable lesson about honoring Christmas in your heart and keeping it all the year.
But Rebecca lives on in the hearts of those who loved her, WHICH IS EVERYONE!!! And Betty is sweltering under the pressure of being the new Mrs de Winter when the old one was so beloved and socially whirly and competent and when the housekeeper is so condescending and when Mr de Winter is still in love with his perfect dead wife. So that’s a bitch.
But then something totally innocuous happens to bring something VERY OMINOUS to light and then other things keep coming up and it looks like things might go a bit pear-shaped for everyone involved and the tension goes on for chapters and every time you think it’s all ok, someone else comes waltzing in and starts chucking wrenches in the works. It’s quite agonizing.
I love me some literary agony.
DdM, I’m sorry I took so long to dip into your waters (that’s not…that sounds like a double-entendre, and it’s not…this is just awkward). It’s like how I only just discovered how delicious and easy to make lemon curd is. But like the lemon curd, which I made in huge batches and put on everything until I got ragingly sick of it, I think you and I should take a break for a bit. I mean, you have this enormous oevre, and it’s totally like me to gorge myself and ruin things (see: lemon curd) so I want to take my time. Can we go slow?
But for real. Rebecca = brilliant.