The Book(s) of Love No. 7: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

REBECCA“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”

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This book, and the excellent movie version by Alfred Hitchcock, starts out like every girl’s dream (and probably some boys’ dreams too!): you’re on vacation in Monte Carlo (which, hell, is already a dream come true), and a handsome, wealthy man falls madly in love with you and proposes marriage before the trip ends.  He takes you back to his lush (if somewhat gothic and isolated) country house in England where, presumably, you’re going to live happily ever after.  Oh, but you presume wrong.  A) it turns out that your name isn’t Rebecca at all, that was the name of your new husband’s first wife, who is dead.  B) that dead wife’s super creepy,  super loyal maid is still employed by your husband as the housekeeper, and she hates you!  This sucks!  Also, C) you’re an orphan, so the only person you have to confide in is your new husband, whom you don’t actually know all that well and who starts acting weird almost as soon as you get home.  What the hell is going on here?  Even just talking about this story makes me want to go read the book or watch the movie again.  As the quote suggests, this story is particularly about passion in its many forms, and how it can be both a good thing and a bad one.

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