Monday, October 11, 2010


RebeccaRebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 8.75 out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Concepts, Violence, Mean Spirited House Keeper)

“Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Why: Daphne Du Maurier was writing Goth before Goth was, well … Goth.  Many critics have compared the style in Rebecca to that of Jane Eyre which, in our opinion, is a huge endorsement.  Most people will recognize her previous work from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie; The Birds, which is based on her short story of the same name.  Even if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s still the reason most beach walkers will do a double take whenever a pack of seagulls fly overhead (there’s another reason too, but that would involve potty humor).  Du Maurier was also the cousin of the Davies boys, who were the inspiration for the characters in Peter Pan.  While this has absolutely nothing to do with her published work, it is at least interesting. 

Rebecca is a story of love, loss, revenge, and impossible expectations.  You’ll find yourself smack in the middle of the happenings at Manderley Estate and the mystery that surrounds Rebecca (it helps if you think of spooky music whenever you say her name).  As the novel progresses you will find out just how complex of a plot Du Maurier has woven.  We can guarantee with 99.738% certainty that you won’t be able to call all the exciting revelations near the end.      

We will now attempt to wow you with two interesting facts about the cultural impact of Rebecca (we’ll start with the least and finish with the most interesting).  First, Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, is referenced in multiple books and television shows, including the Sopranos and multiple Stephen King books.  Quick social tip: if an acquaintance has ever claimed your personality or behavior is similar to Mrs. Danvers, they weren’t giving you a compliment (even if they had a smile on their face during the delivery).  Second, during WWII, the German army had taken Rebecca and created a super secret decoder out of it.  The idea was that single words, referenced by page, line, and position, would be used to construct sentences.  The books were distributed throughout the intelligence agency, however, shortly thereafter a security breach occurred and the German’s felt that the idea was compromised.  Cool, right?  So, if you thought that was cool, just wait until you read (commence spooky music) Rebecca!

Editor’s Note:  We realize that much of this information has nothing to do with the actual content of the book and for that we are sorry.  That being said, you never know when the chance to impress your friends with obscure Rebecca trivia might present itself.  In our experience, it’s a great ice breaker.      

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