Rebecca Readalong: Week 4

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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!

Discussion

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.

Quotes

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!

Giveaway

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

Next week we will announce our next readalong selection and the winner of our giveaway so stay tuned!

 

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. latasha says:

    so sorry you didn’t like it Lilyn 😦 My Cousin Rachel is good too. I think the ones reading it next will like it too.
    1. yes, then I read my cousin Rachel then this read a long. I should be starting Jamaica Inn for another group sometime this month.
    2. I could’ve sworn it ended with a fight with Danvers and she did it. I still think she did it.
    3. I thought there was more to it then there actually was. I mis-remembered that ending so bad lol. I think I would’ve been a little more insane to see my family home going up. Max was rather calm.
    4. absolutely. it’s what she knows and is comfortable with. she knows in this role she is/will be needed.
    5 yes! I thought she was pregnant with Jack’s baby. I forgot all about the cancer!

    I had a great time reading this with everyone. I liked the scheduled y’all came up with. can’t wait to see what’s next!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lilyn G says:

      I figured as soon as I heard the words ‘Gothic’ that I probably wasn’t going to like Rebecca much. That’s okay, though. Now I’ve roped four of these ladies and gent into doing a readalong of 2312 with me, so I’m happy.

      I think maybe Max was in shock at the end?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I really think Danvers did it, too. It seems to fit with her character. I agree with Lilyn’s suggestion of him being in shock…I don’t think he entirely believed it was real. I could see myself freezing and making a weird sarcastic comment in a moment of tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

      We’ll be revealing the next one soon, Latasha. Thank you for joining in on Rebecca!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been iffy about My Cousin Rachel, but you are making me think I should read it. I loved Rebecca so much I feel like everything will just pale in comparison.

    I agree with Lilyn. Maxim had a lot of things happen at Manderley. He’s to blame for a lot of it, but still. We were remodeling our old house last year and it burned down. I called my mom “well, our house is on fire”. Sometimes you go numb after a certain point.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Michelle says:

    1) Rebecca’s was my first duMaurier, and like Lilyn I hesitate to pick up anything else. I’d love to read The Birds, but I don’t know.
    2) It had to be Danvers, the whole scene with Jack and him saying there’s other ways, I think he called Danvers and her abrupt leaving was them meeting to plan%carry out the burning of Manderley.
    3) Lilyn has it, oh yay it’s over! Haha! Actually, by the end I started being entertained, but in a this is so ridiculous it’s kind of funny way. I grew up watching Mexican novelas with my mom and this book reminded me of those shows. So much drama, theatrics, general craziness etc.
    4) Our narrator definitely prefers feeling like she’s needed and “useful” and a caretaker role is ideal for her.
    5) I was surprised! I thought it would be the whole pregnancy thing finally coming out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rebecca was very much like a soap opera.

      Like

    2. Laurie | Bark says:

      Soooo much drama! Some of these older books are filled with it. Phantom of the Opera was over the top with the theatrics too.

      Like

    3. Lilyn G says:

      I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to be glad it was over! And yes, VERY soap opera.

      Like

  4. kimberlykay3 says:

    1. REBECCA was my first book by Daphne Du Maurier. While I did think this one was very well written, it was still a little too, “sappy” for my tastes… (Basically, I wanted to slap some sense into the narrator and tell her to stop being a mouse–LOL!) If it were a group read, I might pick up another, but probably not on my own.

    2. The fire at Manderly: I think it’s obvious that Jack called Danvers to tell her Rebecca’s fate, and that Maxim “got away with murdering her”. As Rebecca was the only one Danvers cared for (I still think they may have had a more “intimate” relationship when it suited Rebecca…), Danvers took away the only the reason that he kept Rebecca as a wife to begin with. If she was killed, why should Maxim get to keep what Danvers saw as Rebecca’s?

    3. Surprisingly, I felt sorry that Manderly met with that fate. I think it was all the beauty there being destroyed more than any feeling for the de Winters. As for them, we know in the beginning that they’re not at Manderly in the end, so it really wasn’t that surprising, and I still don’t care for the narrator, nor the fact that her husband only told her he loved her months after marrying her.

    4. The narrator was definitely more “at home” in a caretaker role than that of a wife and homeowner. She was in her element at the end.

    5. I honestly was NOT surprised with the revelation by the doctor for two reasons: 1). Danvers said that the only thing Rebecca feared was “getting sick/old” (or something along those lines), and she’d rather die than go that way. That was a giveaway. 2). The “Prologue” kind of ruined any idea that Max was held responsible for her death, so I assumed that she had a terminal illness. There was one other minor fact that led me to think that: with all the sleeping around she did (at that time period), she was never pregnant before. That alone led me to believe that she “couldn’t” get pregnant for some reason or other.

    **Hope to find out the next read soon, in order to get a copy!!** Thank you LOHF for hosting this read-along! I felt that the format, with coming to the thread and commenting on a certain amount of the book each week, set a reasonable goal, and really heightened my enjoyment of the novel. It’s always more fun when you can hear other people’s interpretation and feelings about things that may differ from your own.***

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The next book will be announced next week, and the readalong won’t be until February! So you have enough time

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I thought she was sick, too, but the build up was so great for a pregnancy reveal, I started to believe it!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Laurie | Bark says:

      I think you’re on to something with thinking Danvers & Rebecca had a little somethin’, somethin’ going on when it suited Rebecca. It would help explain Danvers crazy obsession with her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kimberlykay3 says:

        The obsession and when she came down to give evidence for Jack, and then ended up laughing and telling them both how much she used men. That’s what got me thinking that perhaps men weren’t the only ones she used to suit her needs and keep them on a tight leash…..

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Lilyn G says:

      So happy you enjoyed this readalong 🙂 I would have probably given up on the book if it wasn’t for the group. I really like the format we have going on though. It was fun coming up with questions (and answering them!)

      Like

    5. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

      We will be revealing our February readalong choice very soon! Thank you for joining and we’re thrilled the community aspect heightened your enjoyment of the story. We feel the same.

      Like

  5. Anne says:

    LOL Lilyn… I hope your next book is less of a hate read for your sake, but you’ve really been making me laugh with this one. I hope you have a good chaser lined up!

    1. This is the only thing by Du Maurier that I’ve read. I don’t have immediate plans to read more, mostly because I have a huge pile of stuff to read, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

    2. I think it was a joint effort between Danvers and Jack. I feel like Jack had to be involved, especially after the scene where he calls Maxim out for his out-of-control levels of privilege. I know Jack is a nasty character, but… he kind of has a point. Maxim is literally getting away with murder, and his social rank appears to be a large factor in that. So it makes sense to me that Jack would look to take that status away, and Danvers would be perfectly willing to give him access to Manderley to do it.

    3. I wonder if Gillian Flynn is a fan of Rebecca. The ending made me think about her work (Sharp Objects, especially). Her narrators are also troubled and unlikeable, and she’s also an excellent crafter of a satisfyingly macabre twist. I like that Rebecca ended on a bit of a downer and that Maxim received at least some sort of punishment.

    4. My version doesn’t include the epilogue – it just ends with Manderley burning down. Does Maxim wind up with a permanent disability? (Good!)

    5. Yes! Even the second time through, since I’d completely forgotten about it! It’s an uncomfortable twist – on the one hand, it gives a sort of “no harm no foul” feeling about Rebecca’s murder, since she wanted it to happen. On the other hand, Maxim didn’t know that, so it’s hard for me to see it as a redemptive thing.

    Thanks again for hosting – this has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the next round!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I definitely agree with Gillian Flynn being influenced by du Maurier. The drama is so well-crafted, and the female main characters aren’t typically people you would see as protagonists.

      My copy had the epilogue, but you can read excerpts from it online (maybe the whole thing, but not entirely sure). Yes, he seems to be disabled and they are both physically disfigured – it doesn’t say what happened outright, but it seems that they went into the fire.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tanya | MiracleNest says:

      Oh man! Mine had the epilogue too, but I didn’t read it. Now I’m wishing I had

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Laurie | Bark says:

        Mine has the epilogue too but I had switched to audio in order to fit in pages quickly. I need to go check that out.

        Like

    3. Lilyn G says:

      Oh, it was definitely less of a hate read. I read Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett. Pretty much the opposite of Rebecca. I was disturbed, but couldn’t look away.

      I’m glad I amused you. I think half the reason the LOHF Crew keeps me around is because I’ll say whatever I’m thinking, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

        We love you for your snarky ways 🙂

        Like

    4. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

      Thank you for joining us, Anne, and we’re all looking forward to you seeing you join us again in February.

      Like

    5. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

      Thank you for joining us, Anne, and we’re all looking forward to you seeing you join us again in February.

      Like

  6. Laura McIlrath says:

    I honestly thought the revelation about Rebecca’s health at the end might have been a last minute edit. It felt a bit like creating an excuse why murdering her was OK after all—she was asking for it. It took away some of the moral complexity of the de Winters, but i still don’t really mourn that old world where Max was basically given a pass by the town because of who he was. In a weird way Rebecca echos for me Mr Rochester’s insane and intolerable wife in the attic in Jane Eyre. These cruel and difficult women just can’t live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie | Bark says:

      It was still not okay to me, Mr. DeWinter is a murderer, lol.

      Like

    2. Lilyn G says:

      De Winter is definitely a murderer.

      Like

      1. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

        I do believe that is one thing we can all agree upon!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Tanya | MiracleNest says:

    1. Yes, it was my first, and I definitely would like to read more of her work. I’m leaning towards The Birds & My Cousin Rachel.
    2. Oh, DEFINITELY Danvers.
    3. I think the ending fit the novel very well.
    4. Yes, I feel like that’s just what she’s used to. Like Alex said, she just seems to be stuck in that role, and maybe that’s how she perceives what a wife should be.
    5. Yes I was surprised! I totally thought she was pregnant too.

    I just picked up “Mrs. de Winter” by Susan Hill, it’s supposed to be a sequel, but it didn’t get very good reviews on Goodreads :/ I’ll probably still check it out, just to see how this author played the story out.
    Thank you for the read along!! I had a lot of fun discussing it with you guys 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ladies of Horror Fiction says:

      Thank you for joining us Tanya and everyone! It’s always more fun to read a book with a group of book lovers.

      Like

  8. I think I have a copy of Mrs. de Winter, too. I need to find it and check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mia says:

    1) Yes, this was my first book by her. I would love to read more of her work. I’m not sure which one though. 2) Definitely Miss Danvers. She did clean out her rooms that day after all. 3) I didn’t like it. It felt abrupt. Plus leaves you hanging. I want to know did anyone die in the fire? Did the dogs get out? So many questions. 4) Yes, that’s her safety zone. It’s the way she feels needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie | Bark says:

      Yes, my only thought is for the dogs. I’d like to think that there was one kind soul involved who would’ve let the dogs out before throwing the match and watching it all burn. They lived out long doggie lives on a farm somewhere safe from obsessives and weirdos and cruel men who called them idiots.

      Like

  10. 1. Yes, it was my first book. I’d like to read more but I’m not sure if there may be there at the same level of ingenuity as Rebecca. The expectations are high now.

    2. I think the fire was likely caused by Ms Danvers.

    3. The house burning down is somewhat gratifying. The narrative of Rebecca being evil sucked me in and I was almost making excuses as to why it was totally okay to murder her (yeah, not okay). The fire was a symbol of the “contrition” that this couple, especially Mr. DeWinters needs to do before his actions can be “forgiven” (if at all).

    4. I don’t see her in either roles, to be honest. She’s a shitty caretaker and a worse wife. The narrator simply “floats” in her existence, in my opinion.

    5. Yes, I was surprised, but the pile of surprises back to back is what I find so fascinating in Du Mauriers writing. It also makes me sympathize with Rebecca. I feel like there should be a novel written from the side of Rebecca. The ending doesn’t really answer much; it actually raised more questions for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kimberlykay3 says:

      I felt like I wanted some more answers at the end, as well. What caused him to need the wheelchair and be read to? Was it just old age at that time, or did something happen to him. I almost expected him to run into Manderly and get injured there, but the way the story ended doesn’t lead to that conclusion…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was my assumption from the epilogue. She talks about both of them being disfigured with scars, and him being disabled, so I assumed the scars and what not were from the fire since there wasn’t anything else to connect it to. But I do wish it was more explicit in what happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes, I almost forgot the detail of him being in a wheelchair at the beginning. I think the narrator mentions old age, but I’m not sure.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Lilyn G says:

      Agreed. That ending wasn’t really satisfactory/fulfilling at all.

      Liked by 2 people

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