Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Read for the April theme (“Sure, Jan,” Read a Book with an Unreliable Narrator) of the 2018 ONTD Reading Challenge | Rebecca on Goodreads

Rebecca was great. Unfortunately, after attempting to read it last year, the library waitlist grew so long (and I started therapy, got a new job, and moved into a house) that I didn’t finish until March of 2019. Even once I got my waitlisted copy, it took a couple of weeks for me to really get into it. Once I did, it just flowed. Unlike reading A Turn of the Screw, none of the language or phrasing gave me pause. I loved the concept of Turn, but the style was not my favorite. Rebecca, being slightly newer, had less of a stylistic barrier.

It’s definitely a story that builds up the dread and I want to read more of du Maurier’s books to see what other worlds she creates. I also want to branch out to the movie and tv-movie versions – the Masterpiece Theatre version has Charles Dance and Diana Rigg, which is definitely intriguing. Also, there’s supposed to be a Netflix remake with Lily James and Armie Hammer attached, but IMDB currently shows it in pre-production without any dates attached.

Back to the book, though – there’s a reason it’s regarded as a classic. I don’t think it breaks new ground in telling truths about the ~human condition or anything, but it’s a really fun, atmospheric mystery. It’s haunting in the best, most realistic way.

Recommend? Yes, definitely.

Discovered while reviewing: Meg & Dia’s “Rebecca

To Read: The Winters by Lisa Gabrielle, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (to which Rebecca has drawn comparisons), Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
To watch: Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), Rebecca Mini-Series (1979), Masterpiece’s Rebecca (also available on Netflix DVD)

Severance – Ling Ma

Read for the October theme (The Darkest Timeline) of the 2018 ONTD Reading Challenge | Severance on Goodreads

I picked up Severance without much of an idea of what it was about and what I ended up liking best about it was the slow unfolding of the story, trying to figure out where in the world it was going.

Rather than giving you a Goodreads recap, I’ll just say that I really enjoyed the way the current story would drop out, something from the past would be picked up and woven into the story, then it would continue on. That kind of storytelling might not be for everyone. If it wasn’t executed very well, it wouldn’t have been for me either.

While Severance wasn’t quite a page-turner because of the meandering style, it definitely held my interest. During a work trip, I was constantly trying to find opportunities when I could squeeze in a few minutes to read.

This is Ling Ma’s debut novel and I’ll be looking for the next.

-Melanie