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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sequel, true to the original
I was surprised at the one star reviews I read here. I recently reread Rebecca after about a thirty year lag, having first read it in high school in the 1970s, and was quite surprised at how dark the novel is on rereading. So I was interested to see what Ms. Hill made of a sequel.

Yes, it is quite dark and disturbing and the ending is beyond sad, but really...
Published on 3 July 2008 by LisaMC

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What would Daohne du Maurier say?
Sorry, I can only give this book three stars. Susan Hill is a good writer, and I have enjoyed many of her books, but in my opinion she should have left Rebecca in her troubled grave. It is a boring, lonwinded story, not worthy of either Daphne du Maurier or Susan Hill.
Published on 16 July 2011 by Marianne


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What would Daohne du Maurier say?, 16 July 2011
This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Hardcover)
Sorry, I can only give this book three stars. Susan Hill is a good writer, and I have enjoyed many of her books, but in my opinion she should have left Rebecca in her troubled grave. It is a boring, lonwinded story, not worthy of either Daphne du Maurier or Susan Hill.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not good!, 15 Aug 2012
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C. Ryal (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
Oh dear - this book was a massive disappointment. Loved 'Rebecca' of course (who wouldn't?) but this was as dull as ditchwater. My advice - give this one a wide swerve and read Sally Beauman's 'Rebecca's Tale' which is fantastic and absolutely won't disappoint!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 374 pages of torture!, 16 Oct 2009
By 
Deb (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs. de Winter (Hardcover)
The book reads like a poorly written piece of GCSE coursework..."write what you think happens next and don't forget to include references and quotes from Daphne Du Maurier's book"

The descriptions are endless; I wondered if she was ever going to get to the point. When she did get to the point it wasn't worth waiting for.

The narrator, Mrs De Winter, is irritating beyond belief and Maxim has no substance.

The story is predictable and twee.

All in all, one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Don't waste your money!
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fanfiction, anyone?, 25 Oct 2004
By 
C. RGJohnson (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
I must confess, I chose to read this book mainly due to the number of terrible reviews it had received, both here and 'across the Pond'. Call me masochistic, but I was curious. Could it really be as bad as all that?
If anything, 'Mrs de Winter' serves the purpose of being a good example of How Not To Write A Novel, never mind a sequel to one of the most beloved classics of 20th century literature. In fact, I would encourage all writers to keep it at hand as a guide; let's see, entire paragraphs held together by comma splices; a complete lack of narrative drive; a storyline that is dependent solely on melodrama and coincidence; a ludicrous and frankly predictable climax, and characters who seem to have experienced a kind of pre-frontal lobotomy since we last saw them, never mind failed to have matured in any way; missing all of the quiet strength, strange empathy and intensely unique personality tics that made du Maurier's original characters so enduring.
What surprises me most is the fact that the author of this sorry piece is Susan Hill, a seasoned writer who is responsible for, among other things, The Woman In Black, an intelligent and hauntingly gothic ghost story that was made into a very successful stage adaptation, and which I had the fortune and pleasure of seeing on tour earlier this year. In other words, there is no excuse for the poor quality of this novel. Undoubtedly Hill has talent, but one would not realise it from reading 'Mrs de Winter'. Was I not aware of Hill's other work, I would have dismissed her as one of those lucky idiots who occasionally slip through the publishing net and manage find an audience for their fanfiction.
I suppose the moral of this story is: sequels are generally a bad idea, unless written by the author of the original work. And even they don't always work out.
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74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, dull, dull, 15 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
I struggled to read this book which is a real shame as the original is one of my all time favourites. This was a terribly poor relation to its prequel, it was badly written & got bogged down in far too much detail about the heroine's surroundings which was such tedious reading, unless of course you're a botonist or horticulturalist. I'm not sure whether the tedium was intended to reflect the dull, inspid, insignificant Mrs de Winter who certainly does pale into insigificance compared to her predecssor, whether it was a narrative device or not does not make it any easier reading.
Mrs de Winter is irritating beyond belief I just kept wanting to slap her for being so pathetic; I cannot believe that Maxim could possibly have loved her, I think he pitied her & liked the idea of some gauche, naive girl worshipping him, never questioning him & she was someone he could control as well as be in control of his emotions -in other words she was the antithesis of Rebecca, whereas his first wife had threatened him as well as bring out all the worst aspects of his personality, although I do think his love for her was obsessive and possessive; the claim that he hated her is borne out of the fact that he grew to hate her after he discovered she didn't love him. As for Maxim, the man is a murderer and a brute & terribly unsympathetic. However, I was at least pleased to see justice was served at the end of the book -I skimmed through the last few chapters as I had just had enough - not before time either.
I much preferred Sally Beacham's Rebecca's Tale to this sad offering.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mrs De Winter fails to involve, 2 Mar 2012
By 
Skylady (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs. de Winter (Hardcover)
I'm currently about one-third of the way through and feel compelled to mentally repunctuate and edit as I go. The author's penchant for endless sentences, each containing dozens of commas and very little else by way of punctuation, is very trying. One often has to re-read a sentence in order to make sense of it. Another reviewer's comments about GCSE level writing is pretty close to the mark, I feel. I can see that the author has tried to emulate Daphne Du Maurier's style from the original 'Rebecca' novel, however she has failed by over-egging the pudding so that whereas Du Maurier's prose is involving and compelling, this is simply draining. The overlong sentences, full of exhaustive detail, have taken away any excitement the book could have had.

'Rebecca' is one of my favourite books, and Sally Beauman's 'Rebecca's Story' was involving and a worthy sequel (though as a rule I don't like to see other authors cashing in on a favourite book because the original author is no longer here to write a follow up). Sadly, Susan Hill has failed to make her characters either involving or sympathetic. I will finish the book as I don't believe it is fair on any author to stop reading mid way, but I'm not expecting anything spectacular by way of the ending. I wonder what Mrs Du Maurier would make of Mrs De Winter?
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sequel, true to the original, 3 July 2008
By 
This review is from: Mrs. De Winter (Paperback)
I was surprised at the one star reviews I read here. I recently reread Rebecca after about a thirty year lag, having first read it in high school in the 1970s, and was quite surprised at how dark the novel is on rereading. So I was interested to see what Ms. Hill made of a sequel.

Yes, it is quite dark and disturbing and the ending is beyond sad, but really there was nothing else to be done, in my opinion. The amorality of the second Mrs. DeWinter in Rebecca is astounding and I feel that Hill captured that perfectly in her sequel. None of these people are likable, nor did DuMaurier intend them to be. I would have been deeply offended by a hearts and flowers sequel. Death is the only answer to what went before.

I also appreciated the quality of Hill's writing. It is damned hard for a writer to write in another's voice, but I think Ms. Hill succeeds in replicating DuMaurier here. Both books made me think seriously about love and morals. I have Rebecca's Tale, but never got around to reading it. I am trying to imagine whitewashing a sociopath. I should try to read it and see how Beauman measures up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the most miserable books I have read, 10 Sep 2013
This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
I agree with so many of your other reviewers although I enjoy reading Susan Hill she really shouldn't have bothered, I just waded through hoping it would get better. The characters were lifeless and irritating beyond belief, even Venice appeared dull. I wished I had given up earlier.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth a Read, 18 Feb 2011
This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
I read this book some years ago as I am a big fan of Rebecca. As a fairly new reviewer to Amazon I decided it was about time I gave my own opinion about this sequel.

I feel rather sorry for the author Susan Hill, as this book has been heavily slated throughout the years. Lets face it, it is not an easy task to carry on where Daphne du Maurier left off from what was one of the major classic novels of the 20th century. In all said and done she did her best and did at least try to weave du Maurier's style of writing into the story. I felt she did get the nameless heroine's personality just to a tee. Maybe a number of critics did find Mrs de Winter rather gauche, irritating and pathetic, but lets not forget that was the way she was portrayed in the original book and how du Maurier wanted her character to be perceived in the story. To have changed her personality would have ruined the whole plot to the original book. I agree that Max was an awful condescending snob, very much of the old school, but again, he was the epitome of what men of that class were like in those days. What Susan Hill did was to keep the characters in the old tradition of that period, and she did this well. People seem to forget that women took second place to their husbands in those days before the 1960's. Whether or not another reviewer found Mrs de Winter annoying is neither here nor there, surely her timid character was the whole point of the story? It should be reminded that this story is meant to take place over 60 years ago, and surely Rebecca was supposed to be everything she was not? I actually felt rather story for the nameless heroine.

I do quite agree that the book was slow moving, gloomy and dreary, and yes, it did take a while to get-to-the-point. I also feel the author didn't bring her own originality into the story, but stuck to the straight and narrow making some chapters quite similar to the original (but nowhere near as good) right down to the scene of the housewarming party nearing the end of the book. Boring as the sequel was, lets be honest and admit Susan Hill did write in an unexpected twist to the ending. I wasn't expecting that, and although it was very sad I feel that it was the right one, as Max de Winter was a very tormented man. Another thing Susan Hill did nail right was the shadowy atmosphere throughout the story. The original was not a particularly happy book. Sadly the story did seem to drone on with too many boring descriptions of uninteresting landscape etc. I must admit the dialogue was a bit stiff and starchy and generally off all the way through.

Daphne du Maurier's original was a tough act to follow for any author, but apart from those few negative comments I still feel this book is an interesting read and a must for all fans of the original book. Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman puts a different style on a later sequel that you may also find interesting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book Mrs De Winter, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Mrs De Winter (Paperback)
I thought the lead character name had died in the fire at Mandalay. Susan Hill should have left it alone.
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Mrs De Winter
Mrs De Winter by Susan Hill (Paperback - 2 Sep 1999)
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