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The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Saturday Rave: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Every writer's life edges its way into his work, though not usually in the form of writing down stuff that's happened.

A pressured writer may well choose to make his novel a respite from his troubles. A sad one may want to write about joyful events and deliriously happy people.

Rebecca is the creepiest, most nerve-jangling book, and it's imbued completely with the scents, moisture and mist of the West Country of England.

It's no surprise to me to discover that it was written in Alexandria in Egypt, and it would be no surprise either to discover that it was written at a very happy time of Daphne du Maurier's life.

For the reader it's a terrific, hair-raising read from its famous first sentence* to its equally marvellous last words:

And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

How's that for rhythm?

Prepare to be haunted. Prepare to have your principles tested. Prepare to be enthralled.

Read it if you dare.

Word To Use Today: ashes. The word comes from ash, of course. In this plural form it tends to means ruins or remains.
The Ashes are the regular series of Test Matches (cricket) between England and Australia. They are named after a joke obituary for English cricket which was published after the Australian victory of 1882. There is a small pottery urn containing the ashes of a cricket stump for which the teams play.

Ash comes from the Old English æsce, from the Latin aridus, which means dry. 

*Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

1 comment:

  1. One of my top top fave books of all time. Love it to bits and must reread. Had forgotten the last sentence. Brilliant stuff.


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