Saturday, August 28, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: Rebecca

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

-- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Although I've watched the movie several times and own two or three copies of the book, I have never read this.  One of my New Year's book resolutions was to finally get to it. For one thing, it will bring me that much closer to finishing the books on the Radcliffe Top 100 list.

I am about a third of the way through it and admit that, so far, my only reaction is to want to slap some sense into this little unnamed ninny of a heroine. She goes around afraid of her own shadow -- not to mention waiters, the housekeeper, her sister-in-law, and pretty much any one she encounters. It's a good thing she hasn't come across a goose, because she wouldn't be able to say "boo."

I must have had more sympathy for her when I watched the movie as a teenager. 


  1. Just took a peek at the Radcliffe list. I've only read 37 of them. Probably because, as you mention, it's heavily weighted with American titles--I am a primarily a Brit Lit girl. Good for you for have the list nearly knocked out! (I love Rebecca, by the way.)

  2. So you can't imagine being in a situation like hers where you are in a bit over your head? I guess her ninny-ness didn't bother me because I would feel intimated if I was in her shoes, whirlwind romance with someone above my station, coming into a house where the everything is already in motion and the first wife seemed to rule with an iron fist.

  3. I have never been able to get more than half way through due to my sense of foreboding. I've seen the film and know the plot, but it's so well written it's torture to have to read it spin out and poor narrator get played.

  4. Bev -- The Radcliffe list does have a lot of American books on it. The main reason I've read so many is that there is a lot of overlap with the Modern Library list, which I made a big effort to get through. That gave me a leg up on the Radcliffe version.

    Gwen -- I have to keep reminding myself of what it would be like to be an inexperienced, unsophisticated 21-year-old. But I relate more naturally with Rebecca. :)

    Kerry -- I am enjoying the "Gothic" feel of the book. So if I let myself fall into it, it is pure enjoyment.

  5. I really love this book, but also wanted to smack our heroine around. I felt the same way in watching the movie as she blundered about all bug-eyed and frightened. *grins*

  6. Caitlin -- I like the book a lot, even if she is a ninny. It is very well done.

  7. This book surprised me!! I didn't actually know what to think! It was the same feeling I had with Wuthering Heights, although I highly recommend both.

  8. This book is moving up in my TBR. Every review I read makes me more intrigued. I think I'll put her in the pile for next week and find out why everybody seems to love Rebecca so much.
    Thanks for the review,

  9. Two or three copies of the book? Wow. I think the most I have is two copies, and most of the time the second was a gift!

    I've never seen the movie and have never read the book. I suppose eventually I'll get around to reading something by du Maurier, but I'm in no rush.

  10. BookQuoter -- It is going to surprise me too. For one thing, I can't remember how it ends, even though I've seen the movie at least three times.

    Ordinary Reader -- I've seen a lot of blog talk about Rebecca lately. I think there was a read along even. That's why it finally caught my attention.

    Biblibio -- I often end up with multiple copies of books because I go to a lot of library book sales and haunt other used book sources. So certain books catch my eye and, while I know I haven't read them yet, I often can't remember if I own them. If they are only a dollar (the usual library sale price), I figure I'll just buy it and give it away if I already have it.

    I keep most of my TBR books in one room, but I keep "fancy" books in the living room and pocket paperbacks in the guest room. So I ended up with three copies of Rebecca in different rooms. Doh!


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