Such a haunting tale. Having read the book, seen the 1940 film adaptation and also a stage production have only made me love this book more. I love the incredible and wonderful naivety of the main character, the second Mrs de Winter, and the often blasé recklessness of her husband Maxim, who in the beginning acts as though the whole series of events are playing out exactly as he expected them to. “I’m asking you to marry me you little fool.” This is the beauty of the tale – before she knows what has happened, Mrs de Winter has been swept off to become the mistress of Manderley and the centre of an unknown controversy; something way beyond her capabilities to deal with.
If I could act, I would have loved to have played Mrs Danvers. Such a smug haughty demeanour, so sure of her convictions about Rebecca, and able to make the poor second Mrs de Winter feel so small with a single comment about something so insignificant as the moving of Rebecca’s hairbrush. Each character puts on their own façade – Mrs Danvers seems so loyal, Maxim pretends he loved Rebecca, and Mrs de Winter acts like she does in fact know what the hell she’s got herself into.
There have been a couple of spin offs written about the characters of Rebecca, but the one I have read was disappointingly lacklustre in comparison to the original. Though with such a good book as its basis, it was probably to be expected.