Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Literature.
A troublesome book. Troublesome because the writing is lovely; and the first sixty pages have a lot of promise, including a most excellent proposal scene. Then, as the unnamed protagonist is introduced to her new home, and is tortured in thought by the memories of her new husband’s dead wife, and tortured in practice by her housekeeper, I found myself losing all sympathy with her. I kept wanting to shout at her: “Grow a pair, you twit! Fire the housekeeper, and talk to your bloody husband!” There are few things I hate more in a hero or heroine than passivity and cowardice, and she displays both in spades. And her own knowledge of her cowardice doesn’t make me like her any more. But I stuck it out, and was rewarded on page 250 by a big, satisfying reveal (only half of which I’d guessed at). Things got better after that and I enjoyed the rest. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, I can’t really give it a “thumbs up”; I don’t believe in supporting that kind of idiotic behavior, even in fictional characters, you know?
“One day,” he went on, spreading his toast thick, “you may realise that philanthropy is not my strongest quality. At the moment I don’t think you realise anything at all. You haven’t answered my question. Are you going to marry me?”
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