Daphne du Maurier
*some spoilers below*
trying to be as vague as possible, but I can't make any promises
This is instantly a new favorite, I can't get it out of my head!
The book is about young woman who becomes the second wife of Maxim de Winter, owner of Manderley estates.
I have to say, starting out I didn't like the book at all. Her life with Mrs. Van Hopper was dull, she was VERY young and naïve, and I could see most twists and turns coming. However, my thoughts changed about halfway through.
First, there's the setting which is beyond scenic and lovely with descriptions that really make the manor come to life. You'll want to smell the flowers at Manderley and see the furnishings in every room or wander around the bay. I loved picturing the characters wandering about the grounds, it felt like I was right there with them. I really felt the presence of Rebecca, of Mrs. de Winter always being compared to the original, of feeling out of place. Rebecca was a constant hurdle.
As I said, I started out not liking the main character, but once the first major reveal came about, I actually related to her very well. When I was young and inexperienced with men, I could have found myself in a similar situation. After everything that happened, she was more relieved that he finally admitted to loving her than she was concerned about the situation/actions of her husband. Totally would've been me. The naivety that I originally hated made her more likeable to me.
Reading old favorites like this makes me realize how different things were in time. Everything was so proper and polite, I couldn't understand the indignities of not calling on other women or not going to a dinner, but I got the gist of it from the language.
As for the plot, I saw the main twist from the beginning, but I'd like to think that's because I'm always looking for at least one crazy person in a thriller. After that first twist (Maxim revealed), I definitely didn't see the others. The ending was truly masterful.
I just feel like I'm going to be thinking about this one for a while.