Only one hundred pages to go now. I got engrossed last night and stayed up horribly late reading, I’ve been shattered all day as a result, oops. I’m finding the book really gripping and the constant sensation that you are on the brink of something terrible never fails to keep you reading (even when it’s far past your bedtime).
I failed in my efforts of not becoming afraid of Mrs Danvers and, am happy to say she quite terrifies me. There aren’t enough scary women in classic novels. She reminds me of the typical Disney villain (and half of them are women) – demonstrating, from the outset, an inane and irrational hatred of the book’s heroine. At the point I’m at at the moment, her story’s not really been fully explained and I already have a plethora of theories about her, ranging from the wild to the ridiculous.
Nothing’s what it seems in this novel, from the characters themselves to the constantly unexpected plot. As a reader, you can’t help feeling that, as a result of the book’s narrator, it’s rather a case of the blind leading the blind. She (whose name has still not been revealed) is so young, innocent and meek that you find yourself clawing at the small snippets of information given to you (which go utterly misinterpreted by her) and wishing you could march in there and tell her to pull herself together. This, for me, has been the one disappointment of the book so far – to read, caged by the thoughts of such a weak and insipid narrator. So far, anyway, women have not been represented in the best light in the novel. They’re either evil, deranged, unfaithful, snobby, weak or clumsy – not the qualities one would choose to have one’s sex represented by.
Gender politics aside though, the book has really turned out to be a good read and I’m looking forward to sitting myself down with a cup of tea and devouring the last hundred pages…quite a turn-around when you consider Du Maurier’s still describing flowers by the vase-load whenever she can – but, I’m willing to put that aside for such a well written and exciting story. See, I’m getting wiser already and I’m only on book two.