My Life In Books: Melissa Churchill

From an early age I have always been encouraged to read; my Mum and I both share a passion for books and have helped each other through many book hangovers. For me, a book is a friend. It can help you through difficult periods and make life seem a little less lonely. A book somehow always understands when no-one else can, and to be able to share this passion with others is a privilege. Put simply, I love to read, and here are just some of the books that have made me who I am today.

Rebecca // Daphne Du Maurier

rebeccaMany of my English classmates will not be surprised that Rebecca is on this list, however I read this book for pleasure before studying it at A Level. What I find so unique about this novel is you can read it at any time in your life and still find new meanings within it.  When I was 16 I tried to broaden my taste in literature by asking my teacher to recommend something I would never normally have chosen to read. Without hesitation she showed me Rebecca. I was looking for a challenge, I wasn’t expecting to fall in love.

Du Maurier suffered with anxiety whilst writing this novel and it bleeds into her work, particularly influencing the nameless Mrs De Winter. Rebecca is a 1920s Gothic novel, focusing on the metaphorical haunting of Manderly by Maxim De Winter’s first wife. This book showed me that I was not alone with my feelings of isolation and inadequacy. More importantly, it made me realise that the only opinions I needed to worry about were my own. When I read it again 2 years later I re-discovered my love for this novel; this time I could truly appreciate its intelligence and it would yet again guide me through a difficult period in my life. Rebecca will always have a place on my bookshelf, and in my heart.

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