When I was preparing to write this column I was of the firm opinion that Maximillian de Winter was a definite douchebag. My vague memories of him, from reading the book years ago, were of a cold man who married a mouse of a girl and then began to coolly neglect her as she was bullied by those around them. In many ways he was to me the epitome of a romance alphahole – proud, rich, and full of himself. It was surprising when I went back to the text to see how differently the heroine saw him. […]
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…
From the first time I read Rebecca, these words have been pure magic to me. Though the people around her never even call her by name, this narrator ushers the reader into an unforgettable story. The brooding atmosphere, the slow revelation of horrible secrets, the gradual unveiling of layers of character – none of this would have been there were it not for this particular narrator. Readers get to know Maxim de Winter, Mrs. Danvers and the others through her eyes and it’s this aspect of the novel that really makes it work.
I was discussing books with one of my friends. She doesn’t read much romance, but she likes urban fantasy and the occasional swashbuckling historical when she can find it. At one point, though, she told me that, “My favorite romance is probably Rebecca…” And that stuck with me. I also really like this book, but romance? Not really. Great classic that I think more people should read, most certainly. But still not a romance.