My weeks spend in #Manderley

Earlier this year I found Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill in a little library. I posted a picture about it and Mel from The Book Musings reacted she was having the book on her to read pile too and we decided to buddy read. As I was having a terrible reading slump I decided to take a plunge into Manderley and reread Rebecca by Daphne du Marier and Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman. This post holds a few of my thoughts on all three books. For good order you should start with Rebecca, Mrs. de Winter and last Rebecca's Tale.

Rebecca by Daphne du Marier 

A classic! A young woman is introduced to a dashing widower Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo. She falls in love but soon learn he is haunted by ghosts from the past. Still she decides to marry him when he asks her and he takes her back to his grand mansion Manderley. A house that is famous in the whole area due to big parties organized by Rebecca the deceased wife of Maxim. The new Mrs. de Winter seems boring and close to ugly compared to Rebecca. Back in Manderley we also meet Mrs. Danvers. Head of the household and scary!!
I totally love this book. The atmosphere is creepy. The mystery is a great puzzle and even though this was the third time reading the book I keep finding new clues. The new Mrs. de Winter is very insecure and always hiding even though she does know how to react and what is expected. This is annoying at points but during the book it slowly gets better and she at least dares to talk to Maxim.
I had a great time rereading this book and if you have not read it it is totally worth picking it up.

If you read on there might be spoilers about the ending of Rebecca 

Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill

After the end of Rebecca when gossip is high and Manderley burned down Maxim and Mrs. de Winter hide in Europe in small town hotels. Though they think their lives are perfect at points there is the nagging feeling they do not belong anywhere. At least that is what we get from Mrs. de Winter part of the story. When they have to return to England because Beatrice, Maxim's sister, dies this feeling gets stronger. Thinking by now they are safe they try to build up a new life but it soon comes tumbling down when the past catches up with them.
While writing the summary the feeling it might be interesting and fun to read it creeps up to me again but... Yes sorry there is a but. If it was not for the fact I was reading this book together with Mel I probably would have thrown it out. For 384 pages it is unclear what direction the story is going but one thing is clear. Mrs. de Winter is back to her weak and pathetic self again. Everything she learned in Rebecca is gone and she just made me very very angry. Maxim is a not so nice man (keeping it clean here) he is blind to his wife's problems. The most they say to one another is lets not have secrets and next they don't talk. There are moments when there seems to be a build up to something but next it falls flat. Combined with the totally annoying mouse behaviour of Mrs. de Winter this was one of the worst reads ever.

If you are curious what Mel is thinking about this book head over to the Book Musings to read her review

Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman

We move away from the characters Maxim and Mrs. de Winter to some very old acquaintances. Colonel Julyan and his family. Letters start arriving holding old memorabilia from Rebecca. Colonel Julyan was closely involved in the investigation of her dead and seen as a close friend of hers. Soon the packages start to tell the story of Rebecca. How she became Mrs. de Winter and experienced things.
The book is told by 4 people. We start with Colonel Julyan talking about his memories of Rebecca and the investigation. His ideas about what happened. Still he never really opens up and you know he is keeping secrets which is annoying. The next person is the newly introduced Terence Grey. Quickly it is clear he has a lot of secrets of his own. It was interesting to find out his ties with the whole history but again a character that was not very open. Which was annoying.
The next chapters we move over to the females. First Rebecca. It was nice to read her chapters. Written as diaries we finally get more of her back story. And the last chapter is Ellie who is supposed to tie all the ends together. She is way to obsessed to be taken serious but does manage to get closure for a lot of parts of the story. Still not even close to Rebecca it is way more entertaining than Mrs. de Winter. 
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