on 23 February 2005
Rebecca is a timeless classic in the gothic literature genre. Daphne Du Maurier weaves a tale full of tension and suspense that grips the reader from the start and doesn't let go.
Max de Winter brings his new bride to Manderley, the home he shared with his beautiful first wife Rebecca, before her untimely death widowed him. Rebecca's presence still seems to permeate Manderley, haunting the new Mrs de Winter and sapping her confidence. The housekeeper Mrs Danvers who loved Rebecca and resents her place being 'usurped' feeds the young brides insecurities at every opportunity and makes her doubt her husbands love for her. When whispers of murder start to be heard, Mrs de Winter starts to doubt her new husband as well as her own sanity.
A fantastic tale that can be read time and time again without becoming stale or boring.
on 29 July 2007
This was an extremely absorbing read and kept me interested from start to finish. At times I so wanted to shake the narrator for not having some much needed backbone but such is the beauty of the story..her change from weak to confident. Rebecca's power comes entirely from the new Mrs de Winter's isolation and the unspoken mysteries of Manderlay. The way the threat grows and grows in her mind set against other dramatic events is brilliant and leads to an exciting finale. I was so into this book the abrupt ending left me feeling rather bereft.
Do pay heed to a previous reviewer's warning: don't read the introduction first if you are new to this novel - it completely gives away the whole plot!
on 21 May 2010
I always meant to read Daphne du Maurier and I am so glad I bought this book and tried her out.
I have loved every story and found myself reading late into the night as I had to know 'what happens next'.
She's a brilliant author and I personally would buy any book written by her confident in the knowledge that I would thoroughly enjoy it.
I'm also glad I went for second hand as I got a hardback in great condition for a very cheap price.
on 22 August 2005
Daphne du Maurier's classic novel "Rebecca" is, in my opinion, the most touching and thought-provoking of all of her works of fiction, and possibly one of the best books ever written. The story follows a young woman who, after accepting the much older Maxim de Winter's sudden proposal of marriage merely days after they meet in Monte Carlo, must contend with Maxim's stunningly beautiful late first wife, Rebecca, as she takes her place at her new husband's equally beautiful home Manderley.
This is a haunting tale, and as you would expect from du Maurier every aspect is conveyed fantastically through her rich, expressive writing style and vocabulary. No characters in a du Maurier novel are ever under-developed, and "Rebecca" boasts the most interesting set of characters I have ever seen in a novel. My favourites include the mysterious, somewhat frightening Mrs Danvers, who is undoubtedly the most stricken by Rebecca's death and remains obsessed with her a year after she was "drowned"; Maxim's sister Beatrice, who seems to be the only one who immediately takes to the new Mrs de Winter out of sympathy and sheer heart; and Frank Crawley, Maxim's agent, a quiet character who somehow reminds me of myself. Of course, there are then the marvellous creations of the two main characters, the most unlikely people ever to fall in love. Du Maurier injects me with a stab of pain every time she allows a character, paricularly Maxim, to refer to the new Mrs de Winter as a "child", and she emphasises her lowly status even more by not revealing her first name throughout the entire novel. Mrs de Winter, therefore, constantly finds herself under scrutiny and, like everyone around her at Manderley, becomes increasingly haunted by Rebecca. But this wonderful woman was not all she appears to have been...
As ever, du Maurier provides her reader with many twists and turns, none of which are escalated out of proportion to make the plot mindblowingly exciting and unbelievable, instead assisting in establishing "Rebecca" as a work of genius from one of the greatest authors ever to have lived. I cannot urge you more strongly to read this novel.
on 9 November 2009
Daphne du Maurier wrote these tales many years ago but they still feel fresh against todays literature.
Once a story was started I found it near to impossible to put it down till the end was reached .The best thing about her stories is that I rarely could guess the end. Reading prolifically I am often disappionted by endings but not with du Maurier. I give all the stories in this book Five stars . Read any of them to be transported to anothers world.
on 14 January 2007
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?
Daphne du Maurier's most famous novel often finds itself bracketed as 'romance', which is rather like shelving 'Anna Karenina' in the chick-lit section. Rebecca is pretty dark and heady stuff - a love story perhaps, but only in the twisted and haunted fashion that Dracula and Wuthering Heights can be described as love stories. There are some very, very dark corners in Rebecca.
The nameless narrator, shy and unsure of herself, meets the brooding Max de Winter while working in Monte Carlo. Within weeks they are married and the new Mrs de Winter finds herself whisked back to Maxim's stately pile, Manderley, in Cornwall. Here she finds herself cowering in the magnificent shadow of Maxim's first wife Rebecca - a woman who was dashing, beautiful, loved by all and, so it would appear, the victim of a tragic boating accident in which she lost her life. Gradually mouse-like, shy wife number 2 finds that stunning, gorgeous and rather wild wife number 1 still rules the roost at Manderley. Rebecca lives on, her memory kept alive by the icy-cold and vampire-like Mrs Danvers (one of the most chilling characters I have ever encountered in any novel) and a whole host of maids, butlers and family friends who all seem, to one degree or another, still to be in loving thrawl to their former mistress.
Daphne du Maurier was an intelligent writer and a gifted story-teller. Here she paints a subtle picture, allowing the reader to view the novel either as a tale of a young woman growing in maturity and facing down 'the other woman' to win the love of the man she adores or you can read it as the ultimate triumph of wild, unbridled female sexual magnetism which - in the form of Rebecca - completely dominates the novel even though she herself never makes a living appearance in the book. Everything is ambiguous: lovely, heroic Maxim has a very dark secret. The corpse-like Mrs Danvers is arguably the most passionate character in the book and the shy narrator who supposedly acts as the heroine of the novel pales to a rather shifty furtiveness in comparrison with the tempestuous and wild Rebecca.
It is a gorgeous book - darkly inventive and haunting with layer upon layer of ambiguity. It's one of those novels where, on the surface, everything seems clear and straightforward but once you delve a little deeper you discover the waters are very dark and troubling. Hats off to Daphne du Maurier - she really was a very gifted writer and 'Rebecca' shows her at the peak of her game.
on 9 November 2010
WOW!!!!...............................This book has left me speechless. Stunning,incredible, a work of art in every sense. Rebecca is a dark and gripping novel that grabs you with both hands and takes you on what can only be described as a mind spinninng, thought provoking journey that will leave you gasping for air.
I had never read any of Daphne Du Maurier's work until now and I am certain that I will read more of her work.
The young heroine of this story is living a dull sort of life until along comes Maxim De Winter. Although a great deal older than her, Maxim and our heroine develop a strong bond and are married in the space of months. It seems like a wonderful dream until they return to Manderly, Maxim's foreboding property where many secrets are hidden amongst the shadows. But as the truth is unravelled the picture changes. Our heroine is constantly haunted by the memory of Maxim's dead wife Rebecca who can surely not be who everyone says she is. Can she?
The plot grows thicker and darker as the book progresses, suspense to the final page.Full of beautiful passages, I would recommend this book to any reader who approves of brilliance. One in a million, That's what this book is. I will never forget it!
This a cracking read - a real page-turner. I was hooked right from the start. The opening chapter is so atmospheric, and Daphne du Maurier expertly conjures up Manderley as a dark and dramatic backdrop for the events that unfold. There are numerous twists and turns in the plot and a wonderful cast of grotesque but believable characters. Rebecca herself casts a long shadow that reaches right to the very last sentence. When I finished the book I was not sure where my sympathies lay, but for me that was part of the enjoyment.
A word of warning - if you buy this edition DO NOT read the introductory section before reading the novel - it gives away too much of the plot.
on 14 August 2015
Another of my all time favorite book’s is Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca.Daphne du Maurier
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
The book surprised me. I feel it is an unusual book for a woman in that time to write but I think that is one of the reasons why it is brilliant because it is unexpected.
Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
I was hooked pretty much from the first word. My mind was whirring trying to work out what was happening, what was going to happen etc
I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
It is a proper mystery book without the obvious ending and without all the blood and gore that seems to happen in more modern mystery books.
“We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still close to us. The things we have tried to forget and put behind us would stir again, and that sense of fear, of furtive unrest, struggling at length to blind unreasoning panic – now mercifully stilled, thank God – might in some manner unforeseen become a living companion as it had before.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
It is not a love story, there is no romance but the characters are strong and it gets your mind going!
Men are simpler than you imagine my sweet child. But what goes on in the twisted, tortuous minds of women would baffle anyone.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
This is a book that needs to be read. Not enough people bother to read the classics anymore, which is a shame. I suggest if you want to start reading them, read this one!