I was nominated by the magnificent Mummy Mishaps to receive a copy of her favourite book on behalf of the TOTS100 Book Club. Knowing that I had identified reading a specific book on my list of Things To Do Before I'm 40, the cheeky minx put me down to have a copy of 'Pride and Prejudice'. I know what you're thinking; how has she not read it? But stop glaring at me; I've seen a couple of film versions, watched about 50% of the Colin Firth BBC adaptation, but can't get my head around the book. I will though now, because I like a challenge.
However, in tagging me I have had the baton passed to choose someone else to receive a copy of my favourite book; my must-read.
And so I choose Helen from The Crazy Kitchen, and the book that she's going to receive? See if you can work it out as I describe why I love it.
I first read this classic when I was given a copy of it by my great aunt. She had a horde of books that she insisted I read (one was Pride and Prejudice by the way!) and this one was the one that seemed easiest to me when I was 14 or 15. I was hooked very quickly, even if some of the themes in the book were a little too tricky for a young, innocent, teenage girl to digest.
I saw it performed in the New Theatre, Cardiff with Simon Williams as the male lead and Carmen Silvera as the formidable house-keeper, and was completely and utterly intoxicated by the power of the storyline.
Young girl meets a dashing gentleman with a sizeable fortune to his name. They fall in love in the stunning setting of Monte Carlo, wed and honeymoon there, before returning to his sprawling estate on the south coast of Cornwall where, as the new lady of the house, she has to instruct the staunch Mrs. Danvers. The new Mrs. de Winter must try and crawl out from the shadow of the previous, now deceased but still idolised, first wife to prove her worth as the mistress of Manderley.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…
… is the classic opening line and from here the new Mrs. de Winter explains the tumultuous tale of love, history, death, intrigue, deceipt, mystery, skeletons and a spine-chilling web of lies that leads to an unimaginable ending.
I was on tenderhooks 'til the very last line and had to re-read many sections of the book again and again because I was astonished. Daphne de Maurier was a spell-bindingly amazing writer and this is one of the best books I have ever read.
Therefore I nominate Helen to receive 'Rebecca' by Daphne de Maurier!