`The Rebecca Notebook' is a collection of essays and, of course, excerpts from the notes Du Maurier made for her most famous story, as well as a full-length Epilogue for the same. All of this is very interesting, as is Du Maurier's Introduction to the book, and Alison Light's Preface.
Some of the essays were, to my mind, more engaging than others, though all gave welcome new insights into Du Maurier's thinking and character. Two of the pieces, to me, stood out particularly: Du Maurier's reflections on widowhood after the death of her husband Tommy, and - alone worth buying the book for - her memories of finding her beloved Menabilly, described so vividly in `The House of Secrets'. A quote that, I think, gives the flavour of this wonderfully atmospheric piece, is as follows:
`The drive was a muddied path, leading nowhere, and the shrubs, green no longer but a shrouding black, turned to fantastic shapes and sizes. There was not one owl now, but twenty. And through the dark trees, with a pale grin upon his face, came the first glimmer of the livid hunter's moon.'
Du Maurier at her best, sweeping us along through the encroaching night-time in search of a glimpse of the house that she loved so much.