Four Great Cornish Novels: Jamaica Inn; Rebecca; Frenchman's Creek; My Cousin Rachel Hardcover – 20 Jun 1996
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About the Author
Daphne du Maurier (1907 - 89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. She began writing short stories and articles in 1928 and in 1931 her first novel, THE LOVING SPIRIT, was published. It was the novel REBECCA that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of all time.
Top customer reviews
It's riveting, haunting and chilling at the same time. Mrs Danvers has got to be one of the most creepiest housekeepers I've ever read about in any book. The story is about a young orphan girl who works as a companion to an unbearable lady Mrs Van Hopper and while they are in Monte Carlo she catches the eye of Maxim De Winter a wealthy widower. Although twice her age he takes her off and marries her and brings her to his home Manderley. When she arrives she finds she is completely out of her element and her shyness and inexperience works against her. She finds everyone compares her to Maxim's first wife as she is completely unlike her in every respect. She feels inadequate and not worthy. Rebecca is rarely mentioned between Maxim and the second Mrs De Winter and so she draws her own conclusions however wrongly.
When the truth is finally uncovered and no matter how shocking it is you do still feel some sympathy towards the person who commits the crime. The second Mrs De Winter is changed forever by it and it's the point where she finally grows up. I felt alot of warmth for her and was very sympathetic of her situation as the second wife/other woman living in the shadow of the first one who outshone her it seemed in every way to start off with. I even felt myself getting upset for her and really wanted her to pull through and win over Rebecca. Although in the end she does , Rebecca's ghost will always haunt the marriage even while the current Mrs De Winter and Maxim are in exile.
Very sad and haunting book, worthy of being a Hitchcock Classic!
There are many motifs that at first led me to believe the book might be just as I'd always thought it would be; a sort of Jane Eyre brought forward to the age of the motorcar, but I read on. I'm not a great fan of Jane Eyre but I read on and from chapter 7 onwards, a sinister chill began to set in and didn't stop.
Writing in the first person, Du Maurier uses the perspective to its best, capturing the paranoia, mistrust, isolation and fear of the heroine perfectly whilst at the same time allowing the readers to know that she is not at all paranoid and something very dark is in fact going on.
In many ways Rebecca is a psychological thriller and comparable to Collins' The Woman in White. This is no insult from me; I also could not put that book down. It is not about the romance although romance there is. It is very much about the unravelling of secrets, nerves and plots, the shattering of illusions and the events that conspire to test a personality in what amounts to a tense but beautiful read.
I could put this book down neither physically nor pejoratively. There is something for everyone within those pages. I'm glad I bought the book which will no doubt become well-thumbed in years to come.
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