Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.
I did a lot of driving this summer. My last trip was to Columbus, OH to meet my best friend and pick up my girls after they spent a week with her and her family in Michigan. One the way there I finished an audiobook with an extra hour to spare. Nothing really caught my fancy, so I decided to revisit Rebecca. It was one of the free summer downloads from SYNC this year. Since it was a reread, I wouldn’t feel compelled to finish once I got back home. Right. I defy anyone to start this audiobook and not finish it.
When I first saw the movie and then read Rebecca, I was a young woman myself much like the second Mrs. de Winter. I wasn’t at all confident in myself or clear about what I wanted to do with my life. I very much related to our nameless narrator. I could understand why she did and said the things she did, and I never once questioned Maxim. He was very much an authority figure, not a partner. Reading Rebecca then was a wonderful experience, but I found reading it with a gifted audiobook narrator as a woman with nearly 18 years of marriage and a thriving career under her belt even more enriching.
I admit to being disappointed to discover that Juliet Stevenson was not narrating Rebecca. I needn’t have been. Anna Massey is extraordinary. Her Mrs. Danvers turned my blood cold. The scene at Rebecca’s window was delicious. I enjoyed comparing Mrs. Danvers to Satan the entire time. As much as I enjoy loving to hate a character, what impressed me the most with this audiobook was the way in which Mrs. de Winter II matured and grew through Massey’s narration. She was a mousy, unsure girl as the story begins, but with perfect subtlety, Massey’s approach the character shifts as she becomes a more experienced, stronger woman.
After finishing Rebecca, I went to my local public library and checked out the movie. Hitchcock’s adaptation was the reason I read the book the first time. While I still enjoyed the movie, Massey’s narration made Joan Fontaine’s acting seem exaggerated. When an audiobook’s that good, you don’t really need the movie.
Special thanks to SYNC for making this listening experience possible! Be sure to bookmark their website for more free young adult audiobooks next summer.