I got my love for reading from my Grand Mother and my Mother. Maybe the ‘BookWorm’ gene is hereditary. Or maybe as children, we copy what we see around us. Because I saw my mother and grandmother reading, I too started picking up books.
My mother read Rebecca when she was a schoolgirl. Years went by but her love for this book never faded. At this point, it is very important to mention that I grew up in a small town. And by a small town, I mean that there was no public library and just one bookstore with a collection so limited that it shatters the very soul of a bookworm (like my mother).
So, when I went away to college, my mother entrusted me with the task of acquiring this book for her. It was a Pre-Amazon and Pre-Flipkart era, so buying books meant actually going to a bookstore.
Thus began my hunt for this treasured book. After months and months of visits to numerous bookstores, I finally stumbled into this small store which had books overflowing to its entrance. Actually, when I reached the store, it had just received a shipment of books and hence the overflow of the books.
When I entered the store it looked like a place that would be called heaven by true bookworms. There were books everywhere. The racks were at a dangerous threat of breaking under them. Any space on the floor was occupied by a tall and leaning stack of books. I was lost there for hours before remembering that I was looking for a very specific book.
When I realized that it would take me days to locate the book on my own, I decided to take help from the store owner. The owner turned out to be this sweetest old man who absolutely loved books. The moment I mentioned the name of the book, he not only guided me to the right shelf but he also recommended several other books that I might like.
Needless to say, I left the store with a heavy bag of books.
Rebecca is the story of a very simple girl who loved her husband very much but was intimidated by the shadows of his first wife named Rebecca.
This story haunted me for a long time. I truly believe in being yourself and I don’t like when I am being compared with anyone else.
But what if you realize that the one you love so much had a perfect wife in past. So perfect that even after her death, her sophistication and glamour overshadows you at every step. Every moment that you spend with your husband, you keep on wondering what would his first wife do or worse imagine that HE is asking himself the very same question.
If you are constantly being compared to someone else, you start losing any confidence that you had on yourself.
Well, this girl didn’t have much self-confidence, to begin with, and whatever courage she had, was being systematically eroded. And then when you think that you have figured out the story, there comes such a twist that you never saw coming.
I love how the ending changes everything. I love the author’s style of describing an old manor in such a way that in the reader’s mind it appears like something straight out of a fairytale. I love how the author didn’t even mention the name of her central meek character and how the name of the book is based on a character who is just in shadows throughout the book.
Names play a very important role. Be it Rebecca or Manderley, the readers simply can not forget.
After reading the book I understood very well why my mother loved this book so much. And it was worth the treasure hunt.