(3 / 5) Mrs. de Winter – Susan Hill
My book club read this book because two years ago we read Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier and we thought it would be fun to read this follow-up novel. I think it’s safe to say that this book was not a favorite for most of the members of my book club but we did have some pretty great conversation especially about the woman that Mrs. de Winter became after the first book.
This book begins about 10 years after the events of Rebecca. Mrs. and Mr. de Winter come back to England after traveling for the past 10 years, to attend the funeral of Maxim’s beloved sister. Once back in England, Mrs. de Winter longs to remain and begin a settled life and find a home she can call her own with her husband and possibly future children. However, Mrs. de Winter finds herself dealing with the same demons she struggled with at Manderley in Rebecca and finds it difficult to know what she should do (not do) to protect herself and her husband.
For myself and a number of the members of my book club, the biggest issue with this book, is that Mrs. de Winter is difficult to like as she rarely takes action and lacks agency in both Rebecca and Mrs. de Winter. Susan Hill’s writing is very reminiscent of Daphne de Maurier so if you loved her writing then this book is certainly worth picking up as the inner-thoughts of Mrs. de Winter tell this story much in the same way as they did in Rebecca. Hill also includes lengthy descriptions of the setting which for some book club members was tedious but for others contributed to the haunting and atmospheric feel of the novel.
If you loved Rebecca this may be something you’d enjoy, but if you found the second Mrs. de Winter a difficult character to sympathize with in Rebecca, you might struggle with her again in this novel.
Read on my friends!
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