Friday, December 26, 2008

the anti-character

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Genre: fiction, suspense
Review: Rebecca de Winter is dead when this story begins, and yet is its strongest character. She haunts the second Mrs. de Winter (whose first name we never learn) even before her arrival at Manderley. Convinced that Mr. de Winter is still in love with Rebecca, she allows herself to be completely undone by the prospect of stepping into Rebecca's shoes. She is scared witless by Mrs. Danvers, the overbearing and creepy housekeeper, who remains devoted to Rebecca and determined to keep everything at Manderly just the way it was before Rebecca died.

To be fair, Mr. de Winter seems to give absolutely no consideration of the fact that she might feel out of her league and doesn't seem to even notice her distress. However, even when the de Winters finally start communicating and things look like they might work out, she continues to act like a nitwit. It's very hard to sympathize which such a protagonist, but that aside, this is an excellent work of suspense.

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