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Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - 1938

 

Rescued Thread - part one of page 1 of 3:

 

#1

24th September 2006, 04:41 PM

Hilary

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Rebecca

 

Can't find a thread about this book on here. I've just begun Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. I've had it on my shelf for years and, though I loved Jamaica Inn, I've always put off the idea of reading another of hers. Since I couldn't get going with The Frenchman's Creek anyway. But I have to say, I'm loving this so far...has anyone else read it? (Silly question , someone will have!)

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#2

24th September 2006, 04:52 PMr

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I first read Rebecca after seeing the classic Olivier film ages ago. My reliably useless memory meant that I had forgotten the ending by the time I started the book so found it very enjoyable. It's a book I return to again and again because I find it so athmospheric and tense.

 

I read Jamaica Inn earlier this year and enjoyed it well enough but not as much as Rebecca. I think it seemed more dated. I've toyed with the idea of reading Fisherman's Creek - what was it that you didn't like about it Hilary? I've read somewhere about Du Maurier's 'Cornish Novels', what are the others?

 

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#3

24th September 2006, 06:51 PM

Claire

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This is one I've been meaning to read for ages. Since there's a thread just started, I might see if I can track it down at the library and give it a go. I've not read any Du Maurier at all, so I have very few expectations, either way.

 

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#4

24th September 2006, 07:03 PM

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Frenchman's Creek...well, it's one of those books where I've read the first chapter or two and then got distracted by something else and given up...several times. It just doesn't grab me in the first 50 pages or so and I've never made it any further. I'm sure I will read it at some point, especially if Rebecca continues to draw me in. (but I can't get away from thinking the title might sound a bit rude...maybe that's just me!)

 

Rebecca reminds me a little bit of Tenant of Wildfell Hall in that it is about a woman who is bound, to a certain extent, by the conventions of her time and situation. And like ToWH, it is so atmospheric and introspective. Mmm, marvellous.

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#5

25th September 2006, 09:50 AM

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My mum gave me Rebecca to read years ago and since then I must have bought 3 copies to replace worn out ones. It's a great book, and full of mystery and suspense.

 

My favourite part of the book is when our protagonist is persuaded by the housekeeper to dress as Rebecca for the house party. It is juST genius.

 

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#6

25th September 2006, 10:55 AM

Hilary

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OH NO! Spoiler! I'm not there yet...

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#7

26th September 2006, 08:14 AM

Hilary

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Goodness, it's not a book for the faint hearted is it? I was awake until 5 to 1 this morning reading it until I got to the end as I couldn't bear to stop and try to go to sleep not knowing how it would end. It was so dark and thrilling and I just couldn't see which way it would go, and whether it would end in the way I thought it should...goodness, what a book!

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t

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#8

26th September 2006, 08:20 AM

Amanda Grange

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I so envied you, reading Rebecca for the first time, especially if you didn't know all the twists and turns. It's just fantastic. As well as the plot, I love the descriptions of Manderley. If I ever emigrated and then read Rebecca, I'm sure I would be so homesick I would have to go back to England straight away. The rhododendrons, the tea by the fire, the cove etc all reek of England.

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Part 2 of page 1 of 3

 

#9

26th September 2006, 01:20 PM

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It's a great book

 

I first listened to it as an abridged audio book. When it reached the end, I honestly could not believe that it had really ended - it is so abrupt. I then had to get the book to check that they hadn't over-abridged it! Du Maurier has a funny way of starting books with the ending and finishing not quite at the end, so after finishing the book you have to go back and read the beginning again. (Has anyone read her short story "Monte Verita", that is structured in a similar way. BTW her short stories are excellent - everyone knows The Birds, of course, but there are other very good ones as well). I'm not sure what people think of sequels, written by other authors, usually literally over the original author's dead body. However I think Rebecca is one novel that is crying out for a sequel. "Rebecca's Tale" by Sally Beaumann is excellent, mostly, though I think it loses its way towards the end - almost as though the author lost interest in the outcome of the investigation. But the whole plot is quite a plausible explanation of what happened to the main characters in Rebecca. (There's another sequel called "Mrs de Winter" after the second wife, but I've never read that). Finally, after reading the book, do watch the excellent Hitchcock film (far better than any of the hopeless recent productions) - really atmospheric, exactly how one imagines everything in the novel. It's interesting that the ending in the film is different in one detail (what happened to Mrs Danvers). The film was made in 1940 i.e. a short time after the book was published, so Du Maurier must have agreed to it. BTW, a trivial fact, Daphne Du Maurier's aunt was Sylvia Llewelyn Davies the mother of the boys that inspired Barrie to write Peter Pan

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#10

26th September 2006, 02:15 PM

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Rebecca is a wonderful book, such strong characters, especially the dastardly cousin and Mrs Danvers. Rebecca and Manderley dominate the story though. After reading this it set me off on a Du Maurier splurge. I have read Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, The House on the Strand and My Cousin Rachel, which I suppose are all "Cornish Novels". Frenchman's Creek is worth perservering with. I found it more of a romance than Rebecca, but still very entertaining.

 

I have also read The Scapegoat which is quite different - it is set in France and is about an identity swap. Great reading.

 

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#11

26th September 2006, 02:34 PM

elfstar

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Rebecca is indeed a wonderful book. Emotive, atmospheric and moving. It is probably my favourite Du Maurier although My Cousin Rachel runs it a close second.

 

For something quite different try Flight of the Falcon.

 

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#12

26th September 2006, 03:03 PM

Hilary

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I know what you mean about the ending. I was kind of left there blinking at the end. I appreciated the end, as I'd not been able to come up with how I thought it *should* end, apart from the basic brushstrokes of it, but it took me by surprise and I had to read it several times. I now think being back at the beginning briefly might be a good idea, I had forgotten it started with looking back. Thanks.

 

I am a few pages into Frenchman's Creek again while I'm on a roll, but that's another thread...

 

*typing very carefully as Claire has just got Rebecca from the library on my recommendation so I'm not wanting to give anything away*

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#13

26th September 2006, 03:46 PM

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Just a small addition - Lawrence Olivier was born to play Max de Winter! Similarly Joan Fontaine the mousey, colourless 2nd Mrs de Winter

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#14

Old 26th September 2006, 03:58 PM

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I'm afraid I tend to avoid tv and film adaptations of books I've loved, just because the characters are almost always 'wrong' for me. I'm missing Jane Eyre at the moment for that reason and probably won't seek out Rebecca either. *Might* make an exception if I happen to see it anywhere but would be nervous of ruining it for me the next time I read it, by only being able to imagine the screen characters and not my characters anymore.

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#15

26th September 2006, 07:13 PM

Hilary Hilary is offline

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Have you started it yet, Claire?

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page 2 of 3

 

Claire 26th September 2006 07:59 PM

 

I've read, ooooh, at least 3 pages!

 

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donnae 26th September 2006 08:22 PM

 

***

Quote:

Originally Posted by woofwoof

Just a small addition - Lawrence Olivier was born to play Max de Winter! Similarly Joan Fontaine the mousey, colourless 2nd Mrs de Winter

***

 

I agree with you, woofwoof. They were both perfect for the parts. I think you might be pleasantly surprised with the adaptation Hilary, it is really very good.

 

Enjoy Rebecca Claire :) .

 

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Amanda Grange 26th September 2006 09:11 PM

 

I loved the TV series with Jeremy Brett as Maxim and Joanna David as the 2nd Mrs de Winter. It's not out on video, unfortunately.

 

There are some video clips of Daphne du Maurier talking about her books on her website.

 

http://www.dumaurier.org/

 

Warning: if you look at the book reviews, also on the DduM website, be aware that the review of Rebecca contains a complete plot outline, so don't look at it until you've read the book.

 

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woofwoof 27th September 2006 02:17 PM

 

I'm sure that Jeremy Brett must have made a great Max de Winter. He is superb as Sherlock Holmes (repeated on ITV3). Interesting that Joanna David played Mrs de W as I think in that most recent one (9 years ago?) her daughter, Emilia Fox played that part (opposite Charles Dance - it doesn't work very well. She's too young and Dance is too old)

 

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donnae 27th September 2006 04:51 PM

 

I liked Emilia Fox in the part. As I remember, the character in the book was very young and naive, and Miss Fox achieved that very well. Strangely enough, I can't remember Charles Dance very well. I remember thinking the actor playing Rebecca's cousin was very convincing in the part.

 

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Mungus 27th September 2006 06:54 PM

 

***

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hilary

I'm afraid I tend to avoid tv and film adaptations of books I've loved, just because the characters are almost always 'wrong' for me.

 

I think Rebecca is an exception which proves the rule. The quality of the acting, settings, dialogue, everything is just perfect. Olivier is wonderfully 'stiff upper lip' as Max.

 

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Amanda Grange 27th September 2006 08:48 PM

 

Daphne du Maurier said that she thought Olivier was perfect as Max.

 

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Claire 1st October 2006 07:05 PM

 

Wow, that was quite a ride! That was wonderful.

 

I read it quite fast, because I wanted to see where on earth the plot was going - but I suspect it would be a good one to reread much more slowly, to appreciate the amazing atmosphere all the more, and pick up more of the subtleties of the characters.

 

I like your comparison with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Hilary. As I was reading it I found myself comparing the second Mrs De Winter with Fanny Price from Mansfield Park. Very young and naive and passive, in the face of her circumstances and the much stronger characters around her.

 

The Introduction to the copy of Rebecca I read suggest that Du Mauriers sympathys were much more with the first Mrs De Winter, rather than the second, as a much stronger, more colourful, more rebellious and interesting character. What do you reckon to that theory!?

 

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Hilary 1st October 2006 07:23 PM

 

I read it really fast too, and think I did miss some of the subtleties, like you say. I just couldn't stop whizzing through to find out where on earth it would end up.

 

I'm not sure I've read Mansfield Park so can't comment on that. But did you think the Wildfell Hall comparison was fair too?

 

I'm not sure about DuM's sympathy being with the first Mrs de Winter. She is more colourful, more beautiful and bewitching, while the second Mrs DeW is always painted so plainly, and her lank hair etc are always mentioned in any description of her. But as a reader I picked up an enormous sympathy for her, and I'm not sure that it was entirely my doing, if you see what I mean, I wonder how much the author quietly encourages that?

 

I also really liked them as a couple, I *really* wanted the marriage to work, despite any obstacles, and the obstacles were pretty big by the end, but yet I was entirely drawn along with them and on their side ~ but when you look at the bald facts, perhaps I shouldn't have been?

 

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Cassandra_Mortmain 2nd October 2006 07:57 PM

 

Read it a few months ago, took quite a long time for me to get into it but when I did I loved it! The descriptions are wonderful and I felt so much sympathy for the 2nd Mrs De Winter (by the way, love the way you never find out her name!) And Mrs Danvers is terrifying! :scared: Brilliant.

 

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Hilary 2nd October 2006 08:24 PM

 

And you never find out her age either, I don't think. It keeps alluding to how young she is and how naive she looks but never pins her down to an age OR a name. Very clever.

 

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Claire 2nd October 2006 09:26 PM

 

***

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hilary

But did you think the Wildfell Hall comparison was fair too?

***

 

It's no good, I've had a whole one day of my first term.....and my brain is so addled, I'm no longer capable of a coherent answer :scratchhe ......but yes, I did think it a very apt comparison, to give a simple answer. The whole thing felt quite "Bronte-ish" in a lot of ways, I think. Something about the descriptions of the natural world, having so much emotion hanging off them. I've never thought of rodedendrums as being so very sinister before!

 

***

Quote:

I also really liked them as a couple, I *really* wanted the marriage to work, despite any obstacles, and the obstacles were pretty big by the end, but yet I was entirely drawn along with them and on their side ~ but when you look at the bald facts, perhaps I shouldn't have been?

***

 

Yes, me too, I really wanted it to work out for them both. Though when I reread the beginning, the description of their nomadic existance seemed pretty bleak in some ways - a real sense of rootless exile, though there did seem to be a measure of contentment between them, at least.

 

And I utterly agree with Cassandra, Mrs Danvers was truly scary!!

 

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Hilary 2nd October 2006 10:33 PM

 

She was awful, wasn't she? Really sinister and always *there* watching.

 

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Dr. Strangelove 11th October 2006 08:56 PM

 

In the film Laurence Olivier is UNBELIEVEABLY handsome.

 

The other day there was a woman on a bus reading Rebecca. I asked her is she'd seen the film and we ended up having a nice conversation about old movies/movies stars.

 

I still need to read this book though I've seen the movie many times.

 

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Sylvia 15th October 2006 06:25 PM

 

***

Quote:

Originally Posted by woofwoof

I'm sure that Jeremy Brett must have made a great Max de Winter. He is superb as Sherlock Holmes (repeated on ITV3). Interesting that Joanna David played Mrs de W as I think in that most recent one (9 years ago?) her daughter, Emilia Fox played that part (opposite Charles Dance - it doesn't work very well. She's too young and Dance is too old)

***

 

He did! (I always had a bit of a thing for him after seeing him as D'Artagnan at an impressionable age :o. ) Anna Massey played Mrs Danvers - and she was Jeremy Brett's first wife......

.......it gets more and more incestuous.

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This is the rest, page 3 of 3:

 

12th November 2006, 08:58 PM

Sara

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***

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mungus

I think Rebecca is an exception which proves the rule. The quality of the acting, settings, dialogue, everything is just perfect. Olivier is wonderfully 'stiff upper lip' as Max.

***

 

Indeed. The film is fantastic. I fell in love with Olivier after watching it, sad person that I am.

 

I adore the book too. I finished it in a few days in my free periods in the school library (lost my library card, oops). It's one of those books you just can't stop reading. The characters are great and it's so beautifully written.

 

Not a huge fan of Jamaica Inn though. Quite predictable and dated.

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I'm about halfway through a re-read of <i>Rebecca</i>. It's been about 20 years since the last time I read it, and I think at that time I was too young to appreciate the atmosphere du Maurier creates. As a romantic young thing, I was more caught up with the story which, now, strikes me as sort of secondary. No, that's not right. The story isn't secondary, but it is completely dependent on that tense atmosphere.

 

I'm also noticing that when I was younger, I sympathised with the second Mrs. DeWinter; now that I'm older and wiser ;) Rebecca is the character who interests me the most and who dominates the story. I like to think that Daphne du Maurier's sympathies lie more with Rebecca. She did name the book after her, after all.

 

I'm loving du Maurier's descriptions of trees and flowers as if they were human with human desires and motives. It's all part of the atmosphere I mentioned above, but I'd forgotten how fabulous and evocative her writing is.

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I read this last year and found it very atmospheric and exciting. It's a powerful book and the character of the enigmatic Rebecca haunts every page.

 

Du Maurier says a lot about men and women in this book. Rebecca and the second Mrs De Winter are almost opposite sides of the same coin, like separate parts of one woman - very interesting.

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i finished this on tuesday

 

i found it to be excellent. really well written and i enjoyed the book. the tension created was superb

 

 

i found myself to be really liking Mr De Winter, despite him being a wife murderer. I wanted to see him get away from justice being dealt and i am happy he did. In Ireland, we've had a string of men recently going to prison for murdering their wives. but i still find maxim to be a sympathethic characther which is probably incorrect given the current world we live in but that's how i felt.l if written nowadays, could have duphne du maurier have let Maxim off without the book being ridiculed for doing such? i don't know. But then again, applying the standard's of 2,000's to the 1930's is unfair. what the hell am i talking about?

 

 

 

 

i have bought the dvd of hitchcocks movie of it and intend to watch it over easter

 

what other duphne du maurier book's do you guys reccomend

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i have bought the dvd of hitchcocks movie of it and intend to watch it over easter

If I remember correctly, Hollywood was more squeamish about the moral implications of the original ending, so you may be disappointed with the 'cop-out' that was used.

 

I recommend My Cousin Rachel for your next du Maurier.

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what other duphne du maurier book's do you guys reccomend

I'd second Meg's recommendation but would also add Jamaica Inn, or her collection, The Birds and Other Stories.

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I finished this a few weeks back and it was so good!!!

 

At first I thought that everything was in her head until that awful encounter in Rebecca's room.

 

I had to stay in bed for three hours on a Sunday morning to read it lol. It haunted me and I had to let it float around my head for five days before I could pick up another book. It plays over in my mind like a memory now, I can still hear the sea and smell the flowers.

 

I hope to read more in future.

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An audiobook version read by Jenny Agutter and Simon Williams is my current insomnia cure.

It's an abridged version, but that doesn't matter. as I never hear an entire CD before I go to sleep ;)

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An audiobook version read by Jenny Agutter and Simon Williams is my current insomnia cure.

It's an abridged version, but that doesn't matter. as I never hear an entire CD before I go to sleep ;)

That's when I find it most useful to listen to audiobooks too. Listened to My Cousin Rachel on tape - before CD's were invented - and it was abridged too. Never got to the end of it but had to give up listening because it was read by Mel Gibson and that was keeping me awake!

 

 

Fortunately, I don't have that problem any more.

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The Romantic Novel at its best - no apologies needed. The plot is gripping, the pace just right, the dialogue brisk and pointed and the psychology convincing.

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i finished this on tuesday

 

i found it to be excellent. really well written and i enjoyed the book. the tension created was superb

 

 

i found myself to be really liking Mr De Winter, despite him being a wife murderer. I wanted to see him get away from justice being dealt and i am happy he did. In Ireland, we've had a string of men recently going to prison for murdering their wives. but i still find maxim to be a sympathethic characther which is probably incorrect given the current world we live in but that's how i felt.l if written nowadays, could have duphne du maurier have let Maxim off without the book being ridiculed for doing such? i don't know. But then again, applying the standard's of 2,000's to the 1930's is unfair. what the hell am i talking about?

 

 

 

 

i have bought the dvd of hitchcocks movie of it and intend to watch it over easter

 

what other duphne du maurier book's do you guys reccomend

 

 

I really liked the film :)

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I just finished this book and personally I loved it. It was the first of du Mauriers I had read and was impressed. It was pacy, prevented boredom and conjured up the scene of Manderley vividly with its descriptions of the gardens etc I have just bought Jamaica Inn and will be reading that soon I really like the style of her writing.

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Read Rebecca a few months ago. Why did I choose to read it? The book was looking out at me in an Oxfam shop and one of my daughters is called Rebecca. I had never read Du Maurier before and had expectations of an upgraded Mills & Boom. It was however totally brilliant , a little sticky for a while in the early pages. What I really liked was the relatively dreamlike feel at the start of the book which is of course the present time for the story and then the juxtaposition with the rich and evocative world that was Manderley and of course now past and gone.

 

Truly beautifully crafted. I haven't read another in case it's not as good.

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I was shocked to find that this year is the eightieth anniversary of Rebecca.  I knew that it was a classic and 'old' but I had no idea it was that old!

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    • By Starry
      This is only the second book I've read by Du Maurier, the other being Rebecca and I much preferred this one. In fact this is one of my favourite reads of this year. I loved the premise, drugs as a way of time-travelling and although I think there were a few holes and a lot of unexplained parts what I loved was the quality of the writing. She managed to create such a wonderful atmosphere, her historical detail seemed accurate and the slowness of the plot built suspense as well as a sense of frustration and kept me hooked. I liked the characters and felt as if I knew them and the ending was so sudden, I felt quite bereft.
       
      I had not heard of this book before it was recommended to me on Bookcrossing, but I think this one more than Rebecca will make me try more of her books.
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