by Sally Beauman
Reviewed February 11, 2002.
William Morrow, 2001. 438 pages.
This book presents another perspective on the story in Daphne du Maurier’s
. The fact that we had this
book at the library is what prompted me to reread Rebecca.
was well carried out. The events happen
twenty years after Rebecca,
as a stranger comes to town and tries
to uncover the mystery of who Rebecca really was and how she really died.
In the process, they discover a diary of Rebecca’s and learn about her
childhood and her perspective on her marriage.
My biggest problem with this book is that I didn’t really want to
know Rebecca’s perspective. I had so identified with and fallen
for the second Mrs. de Winter, I also didn’t want to hear how she would
probably end up in twenty years.
The fact is, Ms. Beauman’s predictions for the characters seemed exactly
right, once you thought about it. Her fresh perspective on the whole
thing seemed like exactly how it would have been, if you thought about
it practically. If you want to look at it romantically, though, I
recommend that you stick with the original! On the other hand, although
I was tempted to quit reading at the beginning, she did draw me in by presenting
a mystery. She appealed to the practical, logical side of my mind,
and I found I couldn’t resist reading on, wondering if these new characters
would find out the truth.
I didn’t find this book as satisfying as the original, and it made
me face unpleasant truths about the original characters that I hadn’t really
wanted to face. However, it is a rather fun exercise in looking
at something from a different perspective, and a good story in itself.
Of course, being written in the modern age, it included more sordid details
than the older book did, and was definitely a far less romanticized story.
You definitely should not read this book without reading Rebecca
first. After that, read on at your own risk!
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.