‘Rebecca’ af Daphne Du Maurier

rebecca

Titel: Rebecca
Forfatter: Daphne Du Maurier
Først udgivet: 1938
Jeg vil anbefale bogen til: Alle, der er til stemningsfulde klassikere med en snert af gys
Sådan starter den: Last night i dreamt I went to Manderley again.
5 af 5 stjerner

Vores heltinde, en ung og naiv pige hvis navn vi aldrig lærer at kende, møder den mystiske Maxim de Winter. Han har for nylig mistet sin smukke og charmerende kone, Rebecca, og virker tillukket og utilnærmelig. Alligevel forelsker vores heltinde sig i ham, og da han frier til hende, tøver hun ikke med at sige ja. Da hun ankommer til hans storslåede hjem, Manderley, træder hun dog ikke stærkt til som den nye Mrs. de Winter. For Rebecca spøger i krogene: det er stadig hendes livretter, der serveres, blomsterne arrangeres på hendes måde, Maxim er fraværende og irritabel, og tjenestefolkene fortæller hvor fantastisk en kvinde Rebecca var.

‘Rebecca’ er noget af det mest stemningsfulde jeg længe har læst. Den er proppet med gotiske elementer, selvom der intet overnaturligt fremkommer. Plottet er genialt strikket sammen med twists og cliffhangers. En bog hvor man har lyst til at dykke dybe ned mellem linjerne. En historie, der inviterer til at man krøller sig sammen foran pejsen (hvis man altså har sådan en) med en kop te, og bare nyde sproget og mystikken.

If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.

Hovedpersonen irriterede mig lidt ind imellem. Hun var en push-over i ordets bedste forstand. Men alligevel blev jeg ved hendes side og tiggede og bad hende om at sige fra heppede på hende.

Det er ikke en bog man hurtigt kan skøjte henover. Den fortjener fordybelse og eftertænksomhed. Det er en bog jeg glæder mig til at genlæse en dag.

I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.

Oryx and Crake af Margaret Atwood

oryx and crake

Titel: Oryx and Crake
Forfatter: Margaret Atwood
Først udgivet: 2003
Jeg vil anbefale bogen til: Dig, der vil læse en dyster – men alligevel humoristisk – dystopia. Som er yderst velskrevet.
5 af 5 stjerner

Jimmy, aka Snowman, lader til at være den sidste mand på jorden efter en luftbåren epidemi har udryddet menneskeheden. Ved bogens begyndelse befinder han sig i en yderst depressiv tilstand. Han er underernæret, usoigneret, ensom og på nippet til at blive vanvittig. Hans eneste selskab er nogle sære menneskelignende væsner, som han vejleder og beskytter. Langsomt dykker vi ned i Snowmans historie. Vi hører om dengang han var en dreng, der hed Jimmy, om hans venskab med Crake og kærlighed til Oryx. Vi hører om en bizar fremtid med forskere, der leger gud, en menneskeskabt dommedag, og mærkelige gensplejsede dyr.

“All it takes,” said Crake, “is the elimination of one generation. One generation of anything. Beetles, trees, microbes, scientists, speakers of French, whatever. Break the link in time between one generation and the next, and it’s game over forever.”

‘Oryx and Crake’ er en spændende historie. Atwood har skabt et fascinerende fremtidsunivers, der ikke er så langt fra vores samfund. Derudover dykker vi ned i karakterne, hører deres historie med en god sjat humor. Især ‘the Crakers’ (de menneskelignende væsner) fik mig til at grine højt flere gange.

Atwood er en fantastisk historiefortæller. Hendes skrivestil er nemt og ligetil, hendes historier stort set altid underholdende, og hendes karakterer dybe og komplekse. Her er ingen glansbilleder og stort set ingen todimensionelle personer. Det er anden gang jeg læser ‘Oryx and Crake’. Nu glæder jeg mig til at TV-serien kommer!

He doesn’t know which is worse, a past he can’t regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly. Then there’s the future. Sheer vertigo.


In English
Jimmy, aka Snowman, appears to be the last man on earth after an epidemic has wiped out the human race. At the beginning, we find him in a very depressed state. He is malnourished, unkempt, lonely and on the verge of going mad. His only companions are some strange humanoid creatures whom he guides and protects. Slowly we dive into Snowman’s story … read more

The Bell Jar

the bell jar

The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath
1963
234
New York and Boston, 1950s
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.

Esther Greenwood, an intelligent and creative young girl, wins a writing contest and is awarded a job for the summer at a fashion magazine in New York. She should be enjoying the glammer and excitement that comes with the trip, but instead Esther finds herself sinking deeper and deeper into depression.

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.
I was supposed to be the envy of thousand other college girls just like me all over America.

Esther is a torn soul with a serious identity crisis. In New York she befriends two girls: the good girl Betsy and the bad girl Doreen. Esther feels attached to both girls but cannot be herself completely with either. Betsy is how Esther knows she should be, she's the girl she was brought up to be: finish college, marry a nice man and have kids.

I made a decision about Doreen that night. I decided I would watch her and listen to what she said, but deep down I would have nothing at all to do with her. Deep down, I would be loyal to Betsy and her innocent friends. It was Betsy I resembled at heart.

Doreen on the other hand is wild and promiscuous, the kind of girl she is warned against by parents, teachers, books and movies. The kind of girl Esther is afraid to become but who she also feels drawn to.

Being with Doreen made me forget my worries. I felt wise and cynical as all hell.

It seems to Esther, there is no place for an inbetweener like herself. She doesn't fit either stereotype and is throughout the novel haunted by these limitations. She can't just be a person, she has to choose a ready-made role.

On top of that, Esther has no idea what to do with her life. She's about to finish school and is frustrated with the limited roles for a young woman. She's expected to marry and have children and forget about her education and writing.

I also remembered Buddy Willard saying in a sinister knowing way that after I had children I would feel differently, I wouldn't want to write poems anymore.

I think this was my third visit to The Bell Jar. I listened to the audio this time and can highly recommend Audible's version, beautifully narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal - she did a fine job of captured the wit and sarcasm of the novel.

Even though the novel is dark and tragic, it's also light-hearted and extremely humorous. Particularly the scenes in New York and the flashbacks to her school days and her romantic relationships are some of my favorites. It remains one of the most clever and amusing books I have ever read.

The Age of Innocence

We can’t behave like people in novels, though, can we?

the age of innocence

the age of innocence

A beautiful, well-written and clever classic about the conflict between happiness and living up to what’s expected of you.

The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton
Classic
1920
280
New York, 1870s
On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.

Newland Archer is engaged to marry May Wellard, a good girl from a respectable family. When he is introduced to May's cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska, his world is turned upside down. Newland and May have always done what was expected of them, and Olenska is quite the opposite. She has left her husband, which in itself is a scandal. On top of that, she rejects the upper class of New York: instead she seeks the company of writers and artists, and seems to disregard the unwritten rules of the society, which tries to embrace and control her.

The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!

Newland is forever changed when he meets Olenska. He becomes frustrated with the predictability of his life, with May's lack of passion, and the unwritten rules that controle his life. But the rules of the upper class are also a vital part of Newland, and his love for Olenska and sense of duty towards May and his family becomes a battle: will he choose happiness and freedom over his family?

Each time you happen to me all over again.

Countess Ellen Olenska is one of my favorite literary characters. I've always had a soft spot for brave and rebellious characters who defy the roles they are meant to play. And Edith Wharton is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful, her stories entertaining and clever. That's why I named my daughter after Edith Wharton and Ellen Olenska: Edith Olenska. I thought both would be good role models for a girl. And the names are so pretty 🙂

But after a moment a sense of waste and ruin overcame him. There they were, close together and safe and shut in; yet so chained to their separate destinies that they might as well been half the world apart.