This is without exaggeration my most favourite book in the world. A truly dark, fascinating story where the house, Manderley, plays the main role. Rebecca was Maxim de Winter's first wife - although dead she seems more alive than any other character. Especially at Manderley, where her memory is forever cherished by the sinister Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper, whose love for her late mistress and hatred towards the second Mrs de Winter becomes an obsession...
The second Mrs de Winter is the narrator here, at the beginning practically still a schoolgirl, making her living by being a companion to an American lady in Monte Carlo. Here she meets the wealthy widower Maxim and falls for him instantly, despite the big age gap. She accepts his sudden marriage proposal and after a short honeymoon finally comes to live to Manderley, the very place she's been dreaming about so much. But here she learns that being a Mrs de Winter is not just that easy and her youth, inexperience, and shyness are no help when competing against the mesmerizing, bold, beautiful, sharp, fashionable, and admired by just about everybody Rebecca. Can she ever get it right, beat her fear, and capture the heart of her husband and become the real queen of Manderley?
Maxim comes across as a mysterious, enchanting but a very cruel man. The end is surprising and will certainly make your jaws drop.
Maybe if I get to Cornwall one day, I'll go looking about the coast for the traces of this fantastic piece of literature, which has never been out of print - since 1938! Anyone alse dreamt last night they went to Manderley again?