Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Club Report: What We Thought of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Last night at book club, everyone was eerily quiet at first, but after awhile, we got it all sorted out and started talking. Here's some observations that were made on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier:

  • Many were bugged by the narrator's lack of a first name.... except one who said, "Wait! What? She didn't have a name???"
  • A few of us believe that the no name thing was done on purpose in order to symbolize Rebecca's domination of the narrator... but the author said in an author's note that she just couldn't think of a name. I personally said that I don't believe that, and that Ms. du Maurier was senile in her old age and just FORGOT that she did it all on purpose!!!
  • Several people felt our nameless narrator was spineless and wimpy... and they just didn't like her an so had a hard time feeling for her predicament. 
  • A few people felt the ending was too abrupt and left many questions unanswered.
  • We all agreed Mrs. Danvers was quite the creepy character.
  • Almost everyone enjoyed the beautiful writing and lush descriptions.
  • Some were just not in the mood for this book and gave up in first couple of chapters.
  • Some said it has been and will stay one of their all time favorite books!
  • We all agreed that it was crazy that we were all hoping for a particular outcome at the climatic ending.
  • Those that have seen the movies agreed that Laurence Olivier, from the Hitchcock movie, makes a much better Maxim than that other dude (Charles Dance) who's in the Masterpiece Theater production. What do you think?


  1. I think I need to read this with my book club!

  2. Oh man it's been so long since I read this but I agree that it would make a great book club book and yes, Mrs. Danvers is to me, the creepiest book character ever!

  3. I had a great time at the meeting last night. One of my favorite things about book clubs is the different perspectives. I love Rebecca, but I really enjoyed hearing about the things that bugged people. It expands my mind!

    Jessica @ The Bluestocking Society

  4. I loved this book (and found it a great book club read). What really got me was the way we as readers were made to excuse Maxim of his behavior. The man was a murderer!

    That's good writing.

    It's interesting how the Hollywood version makes Rebecca's death an accident.

  5. I love the format of this review. Since I have never been a part of a face-to-face book club, it is nice to hear how everyone voices their own opinions.

    I read Rebecca last year and just loved it. The Hitchcock version of the movie has been one of my husband's all-time favorite movies for decades!

  6. Olivier as Maxim all the way! And Dame Judith Anderson scares the poo out of me no matter how many times I see the movie...she's exactly how I imagined her when I read the book in 9th or 10th grade.

    Hmmm, I wonder if my book group would read this...

  7. I don't think I ever actually read Rebekah although I've seen the movie and love Daphne du Maurier's stories. I lived in Cornwall for many years and love that area of England. It's a good choice for a book club.

  8. Love the book and far prefer Sir Larry as Maxim. It was much easier for me to believe that he could sweep a girl off her feet.

  9. Laurence Olivier most definitely makes a better Maxim that that other guy (whoever he is).

  10. Laurence is a better Max. But the Nameless from the other one looks younger and more fitting of the part.

    And he was a murderer!! And a world class moper! Agh.

  11. Ooh, I liked this book. It was very mysterious and that kept me reading. I didn't like Maxim much. I thought he wasn't very truthful with miss no-name. She spent the whole book being fearful that he didn't really love her.

    Yes, Miss Danvers was very creepy, and I didn't like that man that was her brother or cousin? I can't remember their relation.

    Yeah, it was a little off-putting that Maxim got away with his crime. However, at least miss no-name got her happiness in the end.

  12. We had a great discussion with this book too. I loved hearing what your group thought of it. I need to watch both movies and see which I like better. To me it seems that the Masterpiece guy is probably a little more accurate but Laurence is an icon. You can't go wrong with him.



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