by Daphne du Maurier

Audio CD

$75.75 View All Available Formats & Editions


A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier's original epilogue to the book, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402515576
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 01/17/2012

About the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907–1989) has been called one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Among her more famous works are The Scapegoat, Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, and the short story "The Birds," all of which were subsequently made into films—the latter three directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Read an Excerpt

from the Introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
Daphne du Maurier’s publisher, Victor Gollancz, announcing Rebecca in 1938, called it an ‘exquisite love-story’, which says more for his salesmanship than it does for his truthfulness. Du Maurier herself was closer to the mark when she described the novel as ‘a sinister tale about a woman who marries a widower… Psychological and rather macabre.’
There are few kisses in Rebecca, most of them swift pecks, and the only person who is frequently caressed is Jasper the dog. It’s a novel full of powerful emotions – jealousy being the dominant one. In it love is a disappointing thing.  ‘We are happy, aren’t we?’ asks the narrator, ‘Terribly happy?’ ‘If you say we are happy,’ says her husband, ‘Let’s leave it at that.’ There is romance in this book, but it’s not about courtship and marriage. Rather it is the romance of place.
Daphne du Maurier started writing Rebecca in Egypt, where her soldier husband, Colonel ‘Boy’ Browning, was stationed. She seems to have taken little interest in the Egyptians or in the country’s tremendous monuments, and she couldn’t abide the social life of the regimental club and the regimental wives. ‘The effort of talking! I don’t know how people stand it.’ It was so hot that her sweaty fingers stuck to the typewriter keys.  The novel she began in Egypt is shot through with nostalgia for Cornwall, and a house she loved there.
To begin then, as the novel does, with Manderley. It is one of the most haunting of fictional houses – more imposing and mysterious than Howard’s End, more solidly concrete than the ‘lost domain’ to which Le grand Meaulnes so persistently seeks re-admittance, more powerfully infused with a half-sinister vitality even than Wuthering Heights. It sits amidst lawns and rose-gardens overlooking the sea. It is grand and ancient and serenely beautiful.  But it is also a dark and hidden place.  Mrs van Hopper, a comically insensitive character who several times voices a truth from which the politer characters shy away, says ‘I’m told it’s like fairyland.’ Its bewilderingly long drive winds through woods that threaten to close over it.  Great banks of rhododendrons covered with ‘slaughterous’ blood-red flowers bar the way to it. It is a labyrinth within which something uncanny lurks: it is very, very difficult to work out its floor-plan. It is the immaculately maintained and smartly furnished residence of a gentleman of the 1930s who drives too fast and eats scones for tea and keeps up with the cricket. But it also resembles the castles and palaces in which the Beast awaited Beauty, in which Psyche foolishly insisted on discovering the truth about her lover Cupid, or in which Bluebeard murdered his wives.
I’m getting close to giving something away here. Those coming to Rebecca for the first time should stop reading at once, and return to this introduction only when they have finished the book.   Rebecca is satisfying on many levels, but its framing narrative is a mystery.  The suspense in which the reader is kept is brilliantly achieved.  This is a book that can be read over and over again, but I don’t want to be responsible for spoiling the delicious repeated shocks to which the first-time reader is subjected.  


So – to speak now to those already in the know – let us go on from a place to a person, to the second Mrs de Winter. She has a ‘lovely and unusual’ first name, but we are never told it. In order to write about her, though, I must give her one. Let us call her ‘N’, for narrator, a more appropriate epithet for this lank-haired, diffident person than ‘H’ for heroine would be.
She addresses us from a point in time after the story is over. Rebecca has often been described as a reworking of Jane Eyre. There are obvious similarities between the two novels’ plots (impoverished young woman marries rich older man, encounters problems connected with his first wife, and finally achieves a satisfactory relationship with him after the burning down of his house has left him a sadly reduced and pathetic figure). More subtly, du Maurier also follows Charlotte Brontë in giving her heroine a double nature. Just as Jane Eyre is both the young woman of the story and the much older narrator, so du Maurier’s heroine is at once the socially-clumsy, yearning girl that she is when the action begins, and the poised, carefully self-censoring wife that she is as she launches – we don’t know how much later — into her retrospective narrative. That dual consciousness gives her psychological verisimilitude and complexity, as the twin lenses of a pair of binoculars give a greater depth of focus than a single glass can do.
Reader, she marries him — not in the final chapter, as Jane Eyre does, but early on in the narrative. That getting her man is a far, far different thing from achieving happiness is evident from the very moment of the proposal. ‘I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool” says Maxim de Winter. In a less subtle work his rudeness might seem thrillingly masculine — kind of Rhett Butlerish (Gone with the Wind was published two years before Rebecca came out in 1938), kind of hard-boiled Humphrey-Bogartian cool — but our narrator knows that it is a sign of something wrong, of an emotional flaw in her suitor. As so often in this book, a psychological clue is conveyed by a sensual detail. The tangerine he has offered her is sour. ‘I had a sharp, bitter taste in my mouth.’
Du Maurier’s biographer Margaret Forster has written that in Maxim de Winter du Maurier ‘created a man the reader was bound to dislike . . . harsh, dominant, bad-tempered’. She overstates the case. Maxim is alluringly sophisticated, and his evasiveness and moodiness can be read as Byronic mystery, Byronic melancholy. He is just the sort of man a naïve girl might fall in love with.  But Forster is right that it’s immediately obvious this is not going to be an easy marriage. At the time of their courtship N thinks ‘It was foolish to go on having that pain in the pit of my stomach when I was so happy.  Nerves of course.’ But we sense that her instinct is sound when she wishes, for a moment, that ‘none of it had happened’ that she was still unattached, ‘going for a walk and whistling’.


N longs to be a woman of thirty-six in black satin rather than a gauche young person in home-made jumpers and a sensible brown frock. She repeatedly makes a fool of herself. The passages in which she does so are wonderfully observed pieces of comic writing: we groan as we read of her mortification. Too shy to ask the way around her own new home, she crosses the hall, watched by the imperturbable butler, opens a door with an air of assumed confidence and finds herself in a back room full of stacked up chairs and mackintoshes. She sees a maid examine her vests, and, ashamed of them, orders some fine lace-trimmed underwear, only to cancel the order when the sneering maid is replaced by a less intimidating girl. Yet this abject, rather ridiculous young person has one great power – her imagination. 
Rebecca’s narrative is ostensibly realistic.  It is full of material details, of buttered crumpets and dog-hairs on the sofa, and handkerchiefs forgotten in mackintosh pockets. Yet a surprisingly large proportion of its narrative consists of scenes N is imagining. In any life, actual events are only a part of experience — fantasies fuelled by hope and apprehension making up the rest. This novel is one of very few that give those might-have-been experiences their proper place.
When Mrs Van Hopper announces they are leaving Monte Carlo N imagines boarding the train with her, ‘holding her jewel case and her rug, like a maid’. She imagines appealing to Maxim, blurting out ‘I love you so much.  I’m terribly unhappy.’  She imagines not doing so, and wasting her last few minutes with him exchanging small talk, ‘my dreadful smile stretching across my face’. Fantasies like these give Rebecca its remarkable emotional density.
They allow comparisons between what is and what might have been.  As N and Maxim rise from the table after his brusque proposal she thinks he might take her arm, and ‘smilingly’ tell the waiters, ‘You must congratulate us’. The juxtaposition of that fleeting fantasy with his actual behaviour – abruptly walking out of the room ahead of her, before telling her (telling, not suggesting) that there’ll be no church wedding – is sufficient condemnation of that behaviour. 
Above all, the contrasts between young N’s hopes, and the older N’s knowledge of what awaits her, provide a rich seam of dramatic ironies. The first time N and Maxim have tea in the library she imagines their future there.  She pictures a period of ‘glorious shabbiness’ when their as-yet-unborn sons sprawl on the sofa in muddy boots. And then she imagines a tranquil old age – she and Maxim, with other dogs, but in the same room, following the same routine of four o’clock tea. (Daphne du Maurier treasured routine – what she called ‘routes’.) This vision of peaceful security is exquisitely poignant because we know — we have known since the very first sentence — that it will not be realised. There are reminders, scattered throughout the narrative, of how this story will end – glimpses of hotel rooms devoid of atmosphere, of ‘harsh’ blue Mediterranean skies so different from Cornwall’s lush dampness, of a childless couple isolated abroad.

Rebecca is an intensely erotic novel, but its eroticism is of a queasy kind. Daphne du Maurier herself said it was ‘about my feelings of jealousy re my husband and Jan Ricardo,’ Ricardo being an ex-girlfriend of Browning’s. N is jealous from the moment she sees Rebecca’s handwriting. Jealousy is morbid and obsessive. Jealousy drives a person to indulge in shaming, self-tormenting fantasies about the loved one and the other. Jealousy conjures up imaginary rivals. Jealousy infuses even innocent situations with sexual meaning.
During their courtship Maxim hugs N to him in the car but he kisses her only, as one might kiss a child, on the top of her head. She says that their honeymoon was ‘full of gaiety and laughter’, but once back in Manderley the newly-weds sleep in separate beds. When, after confessing to murder, Maxim kisses his wife passionately, we are told he is doing so for the first time. There is a suggestion that — however often others give N a quick up-and-down to check for signs of pregnancy — their marriage may not yet have been consummated.  For all that, there is a lush sensuality to the life they lead at Manderley.
The charge vibrating through the narrative is almost all displaced from people to inanimate objects: the house, its furnishings, the meals consumed there. The prodigal breakfasts — the silver chafing-dishes full of sausages and scrambled eggs – and the equally lavish teas are voluptuously suggestive of sensual gratification. Food is sexy. So are flowers. The crimson rhododendrons are terrifyingly carnal: the scent of a crushed azalea petal is a heady intoxicant. And so are clothes, as N’s first visit to Rebecca’s room, with Mrs Danvers as her guide, makes clear.
The only unreserved passion described in Rebecca is that felt by the sinister Mrs Danvers for the beautiful dead young woman who was her charge and her employer. . . .

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Rebecca 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 480 reviews.
CatherineNC More than 1 year ago
I am a reader, always have been. I read everything from classical literature to cozy mysteries. To me "REBECCA" will always be my favorite book because it is so beautifully written. The characters are so well developed, we can see them in the mind's eye. There are so many, never anticipated, twists and turns that captivate your imagination and keep you guessing. It has an element of "Jane Eyre" and a bit of "Withering Heights" but with an added dimension of Alfred Hitchcock. Only Hitchcock could have directed the movie, which I also recommend. Enjoy! You will love it, I always have!
PurelyArtificial More than 1 year ago
When I first began reading Rebecca, I felt that it wasn't catching my attention, and know that I am a reader of much romance and suspense. But once I jumped into the 2nd or 3rd chapter, things began to really roll in my mind. The imagery was truly fantastic, though a few words may seem unfamiliar to a reader who isn't used to highly sophisticated speech, yet most words can be solved using context clues. This story may definitely capture your heart with its deep suspense and loving sincerity. You just never know what's going on is Mr. de Winter's mind, regardless of his honest actions or words. It also makes you wonder whether the heroine really holds Maxim's heart. Daphne Du Maurier really knew how to hold the reader's attention, and I highly suggest this book if you're a reader who enjoys romance, suspense, and books that are hard to put down.
Leigh30 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading "Rebecca" and I'm still shaking my head at how it ended. Wow! I bought this book because I had just read the book "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton and she mentioned that du Maurier was one of her favorite authors. So I thought I'd read something by her and "Rebecca" looked pretty interesting so I bought it. I have to say that the story had me from the first sentence and I was hooked the whole way through. I loved it because it was full of mystery and suspense, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I think they should do a remake of this movie because it would be amazing. I think the film was originally done back in the 1940s so it would be so good if it were done now. I'll definitely have to read more by du Maurier because I love her writing style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that you should have read years ago. If you didn't, try it, it's a page turner. If you read it years ago, try it again, there are many facets to this book, you will notice things you didn't the first time. I felt it was very worth the time.
dhbreen More than 1 year ago
Takes you over. A definite, can't put it down, mysterious drama. Very fun read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca is one of the greatest novels of 20th century. It is said that Daphne Du Maurier took her inspiration for this novel from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and the similarities are evident. The narrator is un-named except to be called 'The second Mrs. DeWinter.' This woman marries a mysterious man named Maxim DeWinter and he brings her to live at his house Manderley. Mrs. DeWinter lives in a constant and suffocating shadow of her predocessor, the beautiful, incomparable Rebecca. Rebecca's presence remains in the house by the efforts of the creepy housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers and the shady Jack Favell. The marriage between Mrs. DeWinter and Maxim slowly unravels to reveal a shocking secret. If you love gothic literature, you must read Rebecca. It's a classic.
nancerz More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because 1. I want to read more and 2. one of my favorite bands wrote a song about it. "Rebecca" by Meg and Dia. When I finally picked it up and saw that it's a "romantic suspense" I was kind of put off. I was imagining cheesy romance novels that old ladies read. (I know I should've known because of the song, but by the time I actually bought the book, I forgot all about the connection) It was slow at first but I've heard from a friend that the book was "haunting" so I pressed forward, excited and curious as to what was so "haunting" about it. I finished the book in 5 days (from a new reader, that's pretty amazing) and I would have to say that I would most likely re-read this book. Although, I was not as "haunting" as they say, it was still a great novel. Really well written, incredibly detailed. I am excited to read more of her books and hope they have the same effect on me as Rebecca did. Also hope the movies don't ruin it for me either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite different than from the movie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Still,a great read! More detailed. I recommend the book first, then the movie.
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
I always put off reading this story because I thought it was a romance. Granted (the cover here is much more indicative of the spookiness quality), I based this solely off the book cover that has the red all over it, so imagine my delight as I got older and heard that it was instead, decidedly Gothic and creepy. The entire story is told through a flashback of events that occurred when the unnamed narrator is a hired companion for Mrs. Van Hopper, a gossipy brute of a woman. While traveling through Monte Carlo, they meet Maxim de Winter, whose story is one that Mrs. Van Hopper willingly offers up. Maxim's recent loss of his first wife Rebecca is a sad fate, and as the young narrator spends more time with him, they decide within only a few weeks that they will get married and move to his estate, entitled Manderley. But upon arriving to Maxim's estate, it becomes quite a different experience than she anticipated. The mansion is huge, with a full staff to keep up the house and grounds, and the ever-present ghost of the beautiful, social, and popular Rebecca is behind everything that is desirable about Manderley, and even the parties she's hosted are still talked about. But not only is she a part of Manderley's past, she is very much a part of a creepy and sinister presence about the house. Rebecca is everywhere that the new bride finds herself in - from the beautiful landscape of the grounds, the cove where Rebecca lost her life, the little cottage down by the sea that she used to rest in after she would go sailing. Rebecca is everywhere, and the new Mrs. De Winter, meek, quiet, and shy, cannot keep up. Even the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers is cold and intimidating, harboring secrets that make the new bride fearful. She knows she is being compared by the housekeeper, the visitors to the house on their social calls, and she can't quite help feeling like even Maxim is doing the same, ultimately wondering if he is contemplating if he made the right choice to marry her. I loved this story. I've read Du Maurier's short stories last year and enjoyed them, but this struck me much more than anything else and was much, much creepier. It is beautiful and dark and perfect for autumn. I absolutely recommend this story
pinder92 More than 1 year ago
My favorite book of all time. I read it during my sophmore year in High School in Modern Lititure. It has been my constant companion, I have read it so many times over the years I could not count. This is my Perfect book, I love the begining, middle and of course the end!
PaulaAnderson More than 1 year ago
A classic. What's not to love?
Missy_W More than 1 year ago
Rebecca is a novel of great suspense that is being told by a nameless narrator whose life has been forever changed by events that happened in the past. Author Daphne du Maurier has a brilliant way of developing his characters. The author takes each character from an aspect of happiness to a point of despair. The characters in the beginning of the story develop a strong bond and then start drifting apart due to lies and suspicions. Maurier created characters that were filled with innocence to characters filled with dysfunction and psychotic behaviors. The descriptive settings of the book makes it as if you were in the story. Each description of where each event takes place makes you feel as if you were there in the room with the characters. One could get the feel of tension in the room when things begin to get intense. As the main characters walk into their mansion, Manderley, you feel as if you were walking in with them. Daphne du Maurier story line takes you from romance to dark suspense and mystery. Some might place this book in a category of gothic writing. The story line carries you through the book so smoothly and yet leaves you with a feeling of suspense wondering what will happen next. She makes it so that just when you thought you knew what had happened, a new twist is thrown in and you are in disbelief at the end. In conclusion Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, is a story of romance and suspense all in one. It will keep you holding your breath till the end.
MJ9906 More than 1 year ago
I purchased the book not realizing it was a work of classic fiction. By the time I finished, I could understand why. Du Maurier's Rebecca was intriguing - a page turner I couldn't put down. It was intellectual and riveting. I thought the story was going to go a certain way, and then Du Maurier traveled down a path I hadn't even thought of. A truly great read and a solid addition to any library!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rebecca is one of the books that catched my attention as soon as I read the back cover. This book, is a stunning, dramatic, and an awesome novel. One of the books I would defenetly recommend, to people who are into drama, and suspense. Rebecca is about a poor girl who meets a rich, and handsome man, but the man has a dark past, a past that no one knows about. His past includs his death wife, Rebecca, a beautiful women. After a few days together, the rich men marrys the poor girl, and they are headed to his beautiful mansion, Manderly. Where the dark past is uncovered, and a dramatic ending occurs. To find out the truth about Rebecca, Manderly, and the death that roams the living, you must read this book!!!
konk More than 1 year ago
My favorite book.
janellovex3 More than 1 year ago
I for one can say that I actually quite thoroughly enjoyed my reading of the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I would definitely recommend it to any of my friends, teacher, colleagues, neighbors and family. It is one of those kinds of books that you really just do not want to put down whatsoever! I sat in my bed at night reading it as much as I could before I went to bed and would even take it out on the patio to read with me while I lay in the sun. I finished it quite quickly though, that's the one thing I do not like about those kind of books that you simply must keep reading; you find yourself finishing it in a matter of days, perhaps even hours if you find yourself that dedicated to it. Enough about my opinion though of course you want to know what the book is about! Basically, in a nutshell, it's a twisted murder mystery and romance rolled all into one, although you don't really find out the murder mystery part until the middle or so, maybe even a little bit past that, into the book. It starts out as a poor girl in the south of France at the Monte Carlo acting as a companion to a snobby, obnoxious woman who thinks that everyone loves her and wants to talk to her and she is so high class, but in reality she is just a loud old woman who laughs a tad too loud at her own jokes and makes others feel quite uneasy in her presence on multiple occasions. The protagonist, her companion, sees this in her and feels bad for the poor old woman, but also doesn't feel sympathy just for the lack of companionship, ironically, that she shows back to the protagonist. Their stay in the Monte Carlo leads to the protagonist and another main character's rendezvous. Leave it to the snobby old woman to attract attention to them and of course get them noticed by someone who really is not looking to notice anyone and wants to be left alone in solitary. She meets Maxim De Winter, who has, even though no one blatantly says it, is obviously on an escape trip from Manderley where his seemingly beautiful, amazing wife Rebecca was killed in a sailing accident. He flees from the memories and the dim, stygian air of England to some fresh coastal air and they are brought together over lunch while the old woman is sick upstairs in her room. While the old woman is sick they go about on drives and have lunches and get to know each other over the next few weeks. Max enjoys her company and the protagonist falls in love with him, practically head over heels. He is mysterious and distant, but that only draws her in more. The thing that I believe drew him to her is companionship and someone to waste away the time with and not be so lonely and always thinking about Rebecca. So he proposes to her and she must tell her companion that she cannot leave with her to New York because she is going to go to Manderley with Mr. De Winter to be married and live with him instead. They are happily, and quietly married right there in France with no large ceremonious gathering of family and friends, considering she has none and he would rather not be around his due to the circumstances. They return home and are welcomed by the whole house staff, this welcoming is organized by the one and only Mrs. Danvers, who is the housemaid of the house. Mrs. Danvers is not welcoming at all, as she is Rebecca's old maid who practically raised her and was strangely infatuated with her, quite possibly even in love with her. Mrs. Danvers resents this newcomer and tries to make her experience there a
Scarlett_Grace More than 1 year ago
What can I say about Daphne du Maurier`s phenomenal masterpiece? I can tell you that it is one of the best books I have ever read and I have read it repeatedly since. From the first sentence you`re hooked, what is Manderley? Who is this narrator? What happened in this house that so propels the reader forward? Through the lyrical, detailed writing of du Maurier we find out. Our narrator does not tell us her name, but is called throughout the story as the second Mrs. de Winter. And Manderley is the home of her new husband, the ever troubled Maxim de Winter, all but a stranger to her. But the second Mrs. de Winter is young and naive, and the household of Manderley was, and still is, used to obeying Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful, graceful Rebecca, dead but not truly forgotten. And as the second Mrs. de Winter stays longer at Manderley she begins a quest for the true fate of the dazzling, elegant Rebecca, and the secrets of the people of Manderley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. Loved it. The aura of suspence and dread that permeated it was amazing. The characters so complex...what a treat....dont want to give plot away but this is NOT a boring or hard to read classic and I recommend it highly.
voraciousreaderIL More than 1 year ago
The first part of the book started off a little slow. I wasn't really sure why everyone had raved about this classic.......however, after a little bit, I was taken in and could not put the book down. Luckily it was a Sunday and I finished the book by early evening. I absolutely loved it. A wonderful love story and terrific mystery. Fabulous writing. Don't miss it!
little-red-ribbon More than 1 year ago
I was more than eager to pick up this book and read it.One thing i especially liked was her style of writing. Rebecca was one of the most detailed books i have ever read. Daphne du Maurier described the most insignificant things, and made them sound beautiful. For example, when she describes Manderley, she tells us every detail of that beautiful mansion. The characters in this story were also extremely well developed. The character Ms. Van Hopper is an excellent example. Her cruel and creepy disposition was so well portrayed that even though i didn't like her character at all, i loved reading about what actions she was going to have next. I also loved how du Maurier never told us the main characters name. The title of the book threw me off at first because i thought Rebecca was the main character/narrator, but she wasn't. I liked how i didn't have that FULL connection to the narrator as you do in most books, as that made me pay more attention to the other characters. This book is a great source of romance and mystery.
Anonymous 8 days ago
it was a bit slow for the first half. I had to talk myself into finishing it. But then it really picked up and got interesting.
TheLiteraryPhoenix 9 months ago
Woah. I am honestly still just reeling from that unexpected ending. This book was NOTHING like I thought it was going to be and it far exceeded my expectations. I should also note – I did listen to the unabridged version. Definitely listen to the unabridged version! There are so many hints and clues. After reading the blurb, I really expected Rebecca to be a sort of sweeping, sappy romance. For a lot of the book, the reader is led to believe this is true. But then everything shifted and it was a murder mystery and there was plotting and so help me I loved it. Daphne de Maurier’s writing is just right. There are a few flowery passages that were so relatable that I found myself reminiscent of L.M. Montgomery. For the most part, though, the writing is well balanced and the tone is perfect. She shifts effortlessly from romance to ghost story to thriller that I only noticed the shift in her voice retrospectively. There’s enough description to bring Manderly to life, but not so much that the reader is left skimming passages of architectural descriptions. I’ve been wracking my brain, but I don’t think our narrator was ever named? Rebecca is named for the previous Mrs. de Winter, and Rebecca’s presence is so heavy on our narrator’s life that she seems to squash the individuality right out of her. Rebecca, the deceased first wife whom everyone loved and who was so perfect. I found it do be a clever literary device – the narrator’s self-esteem was so low that even her name carried no confidence. It didn’t matter because she didn’t matter because she was not Rebecca. This is one of those books that strongly screams for discussion. Of the details, not the style and formatting. I want to know if anyone else was as much taken off guard by the ending as I was. And I want to know if anyone was as concerned as me with the narrator’s reaction to Maxim’s secret. For me, only the very best books strike that sort of need for conversation in my soul. It’s an impossibility of putting the book to bed, because I’m still thinking about it. This is a book I would have liked to have read in school… but I’m also that strange person who looks back fondly on a lot of academically required reading. Rebecca would never have come on my radar if it wasn’t for Our Shared Shelf, Emma Watson’s book club. It is moments like these when I deeply appreciate when book clubs inspire me to add books outside of my comfort zone. Rebecca was a novel I couldn’t stop listening to, and am already eager to re-read. I recommend it with all my heart to anyone interested in gothic books, romance, morality stories, murder most foul… it’s just really good and I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this Gothic romance, Rebecca is actually the dead first wife of Maxim, whom the nameless main character marries. The main character is compared to Rebecca constantly based on how she did things and how pretty she was. I had a feeling that Rebecca was not as great as everyone made her out to be. But because everyone worded everything so politely, the naive main character didn’t catch on and couldn’t see that maybe people actually didn’t like Rebecca. Instead of taking the compliments when being compared to Rebecca, she took them as everyone saying she was not good enough. The tension and romance paired with two amazing plot twist in this tale of mystery and love make for a great read. I rate this with a 4-star review because It was a well crafted, intriguing tale that wasn’t my usual story of choice, but I enjoyed immensely and would definitely recommend it for people to get from the public library. I would say this story is more targeted towards women and the struggles we face with jealousy, just with a darker tint. All in all, I applaud Daphne du Maurier for this well-executed, Anthony Award-winning tale that not only fulfills the author’s purpose of telling an amazing Gothic love story but surpasses it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
This was a book I tried to start last year and just couldn't get into. I set it down, and picked it back up on a cold snowy day this year, and then couldn't set it down because it completely absorbed me. I love a good classic and this one really does fit the bill - suspenseful, dramatic and twisting all while reading with the most stunning prose that transports the reader to Manderley. I loved this, and loved it even more having read The Winters last year and being able to draw comparisons between the two. This is a classic that any suspense reader should dive into at least once. It will be a story I know I will revisit many times over.