Saturday, 24 June 2017

Rebel to Revel

Being in love with someone who is vastly different from yourself is difficult. add to it the trouble of long distance and you have possibilities of dealing with boredom and way more distance than you can over.

So on a grand Monday ze boyfriend and me decided to start our very own Book Club to keep this flame of far away love alive. We have set a rather ambitious target to read one book every week, and like all good book clubs, discuss it on Sunday over a cup of virtual coffee. Each of us gets to pick a book alternatively and this we hope to continue forever for a reasonably long time. There are other rules too, like it has to be a book that is new to both us and if the length is more than 500 pages, it can be spread over 2 weeks. I have been super dedicated to this all week and have actually completed the book a day earlier than required. And to be able to kill two birds with one stone, I have decided to write about this weekly rendezvous to get back to writing. The first book (picked by him) was Rebecca by Dapne du Maurier.

To be honest I approach classics very cautiously. I do not enjoy how women behave in these books, so unreal and away from our realities, it exhausts me. But Dapne du Maurier is a cunning and rebellious writer. In a time of maidenly modesty and spotless honour, she wrote a riveting tale of Rebecca. The book has four main charectars, Mr De Winter, the rich and affluent widower left behind after the death of Rebecca, his first wife. He soon falls in love with the protagonist and narrator of the story and makes her the new Mrs De Winter, whose name we don't know throughout the whole book. Her identity is attached only to him. And Manderley the magnificent and mysterious estate where Mr and Mrs De Winter live.
I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word.
The narrations in this book are like poetry, beautiful in all it's glory. Dapne makes interlinked connections that are easy to miss throughout the book, like red is the colour of Rebecca and it comes out in a full circle in the climax of the book. Mr De Winter's two wives are like mirror images of each other but mirror images are the same person, and that contrast is beautifully depicted in wonderfully woven prose.

While I despised him for picking a gothic classic as the first book, the hesitance and effort of it slowly drifted away. Beginning with a slow pace the book reaches its end in a rather poetic fashion, revealing the reason behind the beginning of the book, the end of Manderley. Mr De Winter, is a hate-able character but his profession of love in the stoic fashion will soften you towards the end making it difficult to hate him, to a point where you start defending his actions just like the naivete and blind love of his young wife. Some things are hard to digest but considering the time when this book was written, Rebecca remains relevant even today.

So far so good, ze boyfriend is way behind this week and I'm waiting to know what he thought of the book tomorrow.

If you have any suggestions for books we can include in this self inflicted challenge, do let us know!

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