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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***Rebecca's Tale

by Sally Beauman

Reviewed February 11, 2002.
William Morrow, 2001.  438 pages.

This book presents another perspective on the story in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.  The fact that we had this book at the library is what prompted me to reread Rebecca.

Rebecca’s Tale was well carried out.  The events happen twenty years after Rebecca, as a stranger comes to town and tries to uncover the mystery of who Rebecca really was and how she really died.  In the process, they discover a diary of Rebecca’s and learn about her childhood and her perspective on her marriage.

My biggest problem with this book is that I didn’t really want to know Rebecca’s perspective.  I had so identified with and fallen for the second Mrs. de Winter, I also didn’t want to hear how she would probably end up in twenty years.

The fact is, Ms. Beauman’s predictions for the characters seemed exactly right, once you thought about it.  Her fresh perspective on the whole thing seemed like exactly how it would have been, if you thought about it practically.  If you want to look at it romantically, though, I recommend that you stick with the original!  On the other hand, although I was tempted to quit reading at the beginning, she did draw me in by presenting a mystery.  She appealed to the practical, logical side of my mind, and I found I couldn’t resist reading on, wondering if these new characters would find out the truth.

I didn’t find this book as satisfying as the original, and it made me face unpleasant truths about the original characters that I hadn’t really wanted to face.  However, it is a rather fun exercise in looking at something from a different perspective, and a good story in itself.  Of course, being written in the modern age, it included more sordid details than the older book did, and was definitely a far less romanticized story.  You definitely should not read this book without reading Rebecca first.  After that, read on at your own risk!

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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