Rebecca is one of my absolute favorite books. For realz and all that. It’s up there, in fact, with My Cousin Rachel, which is a book I haven’t read in a long time but which the mere typing the name of makes me long for. I have very fond memories of a book that I would swear is Du Maurier’s The Loving Spirit, although I can’t be sure; the scene I remember most vividly is not referred to in any book summaries I see online. (Note to self: reread this book.) I even remember Rule, Britannia on my parents’ bookshelf when I was in junior high or high school and read it (right around when I read The Moon Is Down by Steinbeck, neither of which I remember). And then I had the good fortune to end up with a roommate after college who liked reading and always ended up in thrift stores and used book shops, and we both had quite a Du Maurier thing going on for a while (Jamaica Inn!).
A few weeks ago, as friends do, we were talking about this and that and somehow a conversation got onto the topic of medieval England (probably via Game of Thrones, which she hasn’t watched), which led to The House on the Strand, a book we shared as roommates and read at least more than once each. Determined to be wowed all over again, and relive the glory days when we were hip girls about town living on the beach next to some really noisy people who were pathologically uncomfortable being alone (I’m looking at you, Kristen and Jeff from Felspar Street! You’re the one who really liked Dave Matthews and I’m the one with that ceramic candle holder that had two faces on it that were always staring at you…), I borrowed it from the library. When I went to retrieve it, another Du Maurier book I’d missed along the way–Mary Anne–was sitting right next to it on the shelf.