We’ve reached the final discussion week of our Rebecca readalong! We hope you have enjoyed reading and discussing it as much as we have. We are so glad you all joined us and made this readalong so much fun!
This week we read chapters 22 through to the end. Please be aware this post contains spoilers for all of Rebecca.
The LOHF team has posted and answered some discussion questions below. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
1. Was Rebecca your first Daphne du Maurier book? Will you read another, and if so, which one will you read next?
Emily: Rebecca was my first du Maurier book, and I loved it! I picked up My Cousin Rachel at a used bookstore last week, and then ordered Jamaica Inn & The Birds and Other Stories. I’ll probably read My Cousin Rachel first.
Lilyn: Yes, it was. Honestly, even though I admire her writing skill, the book was so not to my style. So, I hesitate to pick up any further books from her. (Which kind of sucks, because I was willing to read The Birds before this!)
Alex: Yes, Rebecca was my first introduction to Daphne du Maurier and I will absolutely be reading more. I love all her atmospheric vibes and just the way she tells a story. I really want to check out The Birds and My Cousin Rachel next!
Laurie: Yep and I don’t know. I picked up another for a group read last year and they all disliked it so I never read it. It’s sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust. I’m afraid to start it now.
Toni: I had read Rebecca many many years ago. I didn’t really remember much of the plot. I am not sure which one I will read next but I will be reading another in the future.
Cat: It was my first, yes, and even though I’ve no plans for the moment, it’s entirely possible that I’d pick up another of du Maurier’s works in the future. I’d likely lean toward the horror, such as “The Birds“, as this one, while certainly gothic literature, didn’t exactly push my buttons.
2. What or who do you think caused the fire at Manderley?
Emily: I think it was Danvers, maybe with the help of Jack. She probably saw it as getting revenge on behalf of Rebecca.
Lilyn: Jack and Danvers.
Alex: I definitely think Danvers was involved in starting that fire. And now I am singing Billy Joel… hehe
Laurie: I think it was Danvers. She had that perfect mix of obsessive and vindictiveness. Jack probably helped her splash the gas around but I KNOW Danvers tossed the match.
Toni: Aliens caused the fire. In all seriousness I think it is Danvers.
Cat: I think it was quite obvious it was either Danvers or Jack. Perhaps Jack warned Danvers beforehand, and that’s why she left in such a hurry.
3. How did you feel about the ending of Rebecca?
Emily: The ending made me sad. Drinking a bunch of wine probably had an effect on it, but I teared up a little bit at the ending. I felt like du Maurier perfectly captured that slightly ominous feeling of something good coming to an end (I say something good because the narrator and Maxim finally seemed content and hopeful). The narrator knew something bad was going to happen & I hate that feeling. Maybe I had too much wine.
Lilyn: Is “Oh, thank god it’s done and I don’t ever have to read it again” an appropriate answer?
Alex: The ending left me a little heartbroken/sad. The narrator seems to be close to where she started: a companion. There does not seem to be any love involved. Her husband is now disabled. And Manderley has been burned to the ground.
Laurie: I feel sad about the loss of all of that beauty but I do not feel sad for Mr. and Mrs. DeWinter. Sorry, just don’t have it in me.
Toni: I really adored the way she ended the story. Honestly, it shows how skilled du Maurier’s skill as an author.
Cat: Honestly, I felt it was quite anticlimactic. In a flash, it was just over; I have an edition that excludes the epilogue (which is an expanded version of the prologue). It was, and still is, rather confusing.
4. The book begins and ends with us seeing our narrator in a caretaker role. Do you think she is more content in her role as a caretaker than her role as a wife?
Lilyn: Yes. She needs to feel needed and important.
Emily: Yes, the narrator seems much more content as a caretaker. She knows her place and doesn’t have to second-guess herself. It’s her comfort zone.
Alex: I wanted so much for the narrator and for her to grow and become someone better… but it does not look like anything is going to change for her. While I think she needs to BE needed in that caretaker/companion role, I personally wanted more for her and am sad that she just seems stuck to me.
Laurie: Yeah, she’s the type of person who thrives on being needed.
Toni: I personally believe that the caretaker role is the role that the narrator is most comfortable with. It is like she tried on the role of wife, but it didn’t really suit her.
5. One of the final twists in Rebecca is the reveal by her doctor. Were you surprised?
Lilyn: Actually, yes. Took me completely by surprise. I was so expecting it to be the obvious thing.
Emily: Yes, I was not expecting the final twist. I really didn’t think anything else would be revealed, so that was an intriguing surprise.
Alex: Yes, I thought the twists were done! I loved it though!
Laurie: The final twist did take me by surprise even though this was a reread because I have such a terrible memory, haha.
Toni: Ummmm, yeah. It was a complete surprise to me.
Cat: At first I thought Rebecca was pregnant, much like the narrator herself did, but then I realised it couldn’t have been that. Somehow the story would have had to relieve Maxim of his guilt, redeem him on some level, and so the explanation of “she was going to die anyway” became clearer and clearer.
Here are some of our favorite quotes from chapters 22-the end of Rebecca:
Here at Manderley a new day was starting, the things of the garden were not concerned with our troubles.
Every moment was a precious thing, having in it the essence of finality.
That’s not the northern lights…that’s Manderley.
Do you have any favorite quotes from this section? We would love for you to share them!
Don’t forget we are hosting a giveaway for this readalong!
Prize: We will be giving away one copy of our next readalong selection (to be announced at the end of the Rebecca readalong!) to one randomly selected participant.
How to enter: Comment on our discussion posts throughout the Rebecca readalong to be entered into the giveaway. You will receive one entry each week you join in. In your comment, share your thoughts on the current week’s section of Rebecca, share your favorite quotes, or post a link where we can find your thoughts on the current week’s section.
Next week we will announce our next readalong selection and the winner of our giveaway so stay tuned!