I was first introduced to Daphne DuMaurier's "Rebecca" through my monthly book club (not too long ago). I fell in love with it instantly because it was unlike any book I've ever read. Before I started going to book club(s), I mostly stuck to my favorite genres; fantasy, science fiction, romance and fiction. However, book club has broadened my horizons and opened me up to a whole new world of books. Although we've read some stinkers, we've discovered some lovely hidden gems, "Rebecca" being one of many.
This classic novel has been adapted into three movie versions. The first was a 1940's Alfred Hitchcock adaptation, then came a 1970's four part miniseries and finally a made-for-TV film in 1997. I had the opportunity to watch the 1997 version starring Emilia Fox. Although a beautifully crafted film (in its own right), watching the story on screen was not nearly as enjoyable as reading the book. Being a foodie, one of my favorite parts in the book was reading the meal descriptions. Anytime Mr. and Mrs. DeWinter sat down for a meal or afternoon tea, I could almost smell the aroma of what they were eating. The movie was unable to capture these magical moments the way my imagination did.
When we first meet (the second) Mrs. DuWinter, she is young, meek and quite naive. As the story progresses, you see her slowly transitioning into a strong assertive woman. It is not until close to the end of the story, you see that she has matured and gained some self-confidence. However, the movie did not portray her in such a way. She is strong, independent and inquisitive right from the beginning. The beauty of the novel was reading about her coming of age into womanhood, and this transition is nowhere to be seen on screen.
One of the reasons I did not like the movie was because I loved the book so much. Subconsciously, I had high expectations for the movie and was disappointed by what I saw. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend the novel "Rebecca" to anyone who loves reading, (especially women). The unnamed heroine in "Rebecca" starts off as shy and quiet, but grows into a fine woman as the story moves forward. From some of the modern day books I have read, it is evident that today's literary female "role models" have started to go downhill. I can see fans of Jane Austen really enjoying this book. The book has a very traditional setting, but it's easy to get lost in the story. Even though it is old fashioned, it's very enjoyable and does a good job of celebrating womanhood. Once you put it down, you will have a hard time not feeling proud and blessed about being a woman.