Sequels and prequels


There is something so satisfying about a well written sequel/prequel. I’m not talking about the hastily contrived films made in Hollywood to cash in on the success of an original.

What I love are the books written after the author has immersed themselves in the original, its era, the lives of people at that time, the normal behaviours, expectations. How society worked, what levels of technology they had or did not have. How long transport took from place to place, what levels of education people would have had.

They open the original up to more speculation, more sympathy or dislike of characters. You feel as though you are re-visiting a place in memory or reality after earlier experiences.

Never read them one after the other, life doesn’t happen that way. Leave at least several months between the original and the pre-or sequel. Enough time for life to intervene, as it does. Then you go back. Snippets tug at your memory, if you are lucky there is someone else who has read the same, and you can tease out the memories together.

The other day I re-discovered a book called Rebecca’s Tale written by Sally Beauman.

The original, or so I believe, is Rebecca by, Daphne Du Maurier that mistress of a good story. Her book is written from the viewpoint of the very young woman that Maximilian de Winter marries within a year of his first wife dying. The history unravels partly during the book, but always Rebecca herself remains a mystery.

This next book does not give us Rebecca’s life directly. It’s another puzzle, being solved by a young man, with interests and flaws of his own.

I’ve been reading it, bit by bit at night, as though I can only participate in the unravelling of the puzzle at times outside of the rest of my busy schedule. I will have finished it before I take leave. That suits me, it’s fitting in well with my working life, adding a slice at the end of day.

But then, what do I have to read over the Christmas holiday?

 

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12 thoughts on “Sequels and prequels

  1. Do you want to read anything over the Christmas holiday?
    When we go on a holiday I often end up reading hardly anything even though I may have taken several books along. Do you spend more time reading or writing? I probably spend more time reading than writing so far. There have been times in my life, when I didn’t read much at all due to bad eye-sight. I still find it easier to read larger print, but even with smaller print I seem to be getting better now. Of course I wear glasses for reading.
    Whatever you’re going to do over the Holiday, dear Sydey, I wish you a very Happy Time and all the Best for the New Year too!
    Love Uta

  2. Oh I love how reading takes you places. I have never read a sequel after another, not a conscious decision though. Its just that the sequel may not be available at the time.

  3. Rebecca is one of my all-time favorite books. Yet, I’ve never heard of this one. Thank you for writing about it. I am adding it to my list.

    I just finished Aloft by Chang-Rae Lee if you seek another story for your holiday break.

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