Reading Rebecca for Daphne Du Maurier Reading Week

I wrote in my last post about HeavenAli’s #DDMreadingweek project and my status as a DDM newbie. I started reading Rebecca and was hooked from the very first, very famous line: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”….

Little did I know that I was in for a transformative experience. It is a very long time since I picked up a book which I could hardly put down again. Oh what a joy it was to be totally engulfed by this utterly compelling story and DdM’s brilliant story-telling. The tension; the characters; the scene-setting – I was on the edge of my seat right through to the last word.

I’m not sure why I have not been drawn to Du Maurier’s work before. Perhaps, with Rebecca in particular, it was because I felt like I already knew the book by osmosis. If so, how wrong I was and how very glad I am to have put all of that behind me.

I have loved all the various DDM posts on other blogs so far this week and have a hugely expanded To Be Read list as a result. In addition, let me ask all you DDM aficionados, have you read either of the Rebecca sequels (by Susan Hill and Sally Beauman) and if so, can you recommend them? I can’t imagine anything matching up to the original but it might be intriguing to see how these authors move the story forward.

And I feel compelled to read more about DDM herself. I have my eye on her autobiographical book Myself When Young, thanks to Sandra over at A Corner of Cornwall and I know there are plenty of other biographies around. Is there anything you would particularly recommend?

Let me close by saying a huge thanks to Ali for hosting this excellent reading enterprise and for inducting me into the wonderful world of DDM’s writing. 🙂

My contribution to Daphne du Maurier Reading Week and other bookish treasures

I try very hard these days to avoid buying too many books. Don’t get me wrong – in my heart, I believe that there is no such thing as ‘too many books’. But the practicalities of life cannot be ignored and I am more inclined these days to favour having space in our apartment to spread out and read, rather than hundreds of books around to try and shelve.

Having said that, I occasionally let rip and have a splurge on new-to-me titles. Today was one such event.

Actually, I blame Ali over at HeavenAli, which is very unfair because it is her birthday today (many happy returns Ali!). She is celebrating her birthday, which she shares with Daphne du Maurier, by hosting a DDM reading week. I consider myself to be fairly well-read in general. But even so there are plenty of authors whose books I have not yet tried, and du Maurier is one of them. So when I was invited by a friend to look around the Christian Aid Book Sale in central Edinburgh, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hunt down some DDM reading material.

I spent a very happy couple of hours browsing inside and out. It was such a lovely, friendly atmosphere:



The good news is that I was able to find reasonable copies of Jamaica Inn and Rebecca which I am very much looking forward to reading this week. The bad news from a shelving perspective is that I also found a few other titles which I could not resist……


Now, I would argue that this pile is, in fact, me showing restraint. Let loose among 100,000 books, I could have come home with many more titles. So I am going to allow myself to feel virtuous. 😇

I pounced on the three Orkney-related titles, and Winter Tales by George Mackay Brown because we are holidaying among the Orkney Islands later this year and I want to read up about them before we go.

I seized upon Sunset Song and The House With The Green Shutters because these are among some of the classic Scottish novels which I have wanted to read since we moved north and it is about time I got on with it.

And I am a big Carol Shields fan. I can’t remember having read The Republic of Love before and am sure I will enjoy it.

While chatting to one of the helpers at the book fair, I found out that the whole thing begins each year with a week-long gathering in of volumes which then get sorted ready for sale. So that gives me eleven months to identify some titles from my shelves to donate. Add to this my ambition to release some book crossing titles in the coming months and who knows – perhaps I will end up with fewer books overall. I know that my long-suffering Hub will approve of that, although he will believe it only when he sees it lol. 🙂