I'm not an obsessive fan of mysteries or romances but this book has just enough of both to keep it interesting. It's the story of a young woman who marries a widower and discovers, too late, that overcoming his memories of his deceased wife will be a real journey.
Perhaps I was raised cynical or turned that way by TV, but I guessed the "secret" by page 120, well before it was even alluded to, and finally, by the end on page 380, I summed up the book in the following way: It basically follows the same exact path as Jane Eyre. Spunky, yet reserved underling female finds an older, immensely wealthy mansion-owner, who is immeasurably attractive in his ability to brood and unwittingly distress his female companion. They are somewhat happy for a little while, but something comes between them. It certainly isn't what the heroine believes is affecting their relationship, and it has to do with his former wife. I found it a good read, but thought the unnamed narrator's "reactions" were a bit trite, especially when the "shocking" secret is revealed. My mind kept drawing "Jane Eyre" parallels and found this to have only a smattering of Bronte's lyricism and insight; I also enjoyed Jane Eyre more because Bronte had the grace to make her anti-hero physically unattractive and punished him severely and Oedipally, whereas the question of meting out justice here was a stretch ("Justice," in terms of court proceedings, was never done, and Max's ensuing heartache may count as punishment, but barely). However, this is probably one of the better romances following in Bronte's Gothic vein. 3.8/5 stars because it's a decent yarn and a page-turner, but several stars off because it lacks credibility and lyricism of prose.
This is one of those books that the story line stays with you forever, maybe not every word, but it makes an impression that lasts.
It takes place on the Cornish coast telling the story of a young bride who doesn't know her groom very well and then the mysteries begin to appear.
The first sentence on the first page was enough to pull me in and has stayed with me since I was 17. Daphne DuMaurier is one of those authors that puts her words together in such a way that the reader becomes part of the story. Beautifully written, great story, one of the books I have read and reread over the years.
This was such a great story! It sucked me in right from the beginning and I didn't want to put it down. It was so well written and well worth reading more than once! It's one of my all time favorite books.
The tale of Rebecca is a thrilling read from start to finish. She was a beautiful, talented woman who cared only for herself and used others. However, she hid the selfish attributes behind an exterior that seemed to make everyone love her except her husband who knew what she really was. Rebecca died in a boating accident and her husband, Max, was grief stricken. He traveled to try to recover and he meets a very young woman who makes him laugh and enjoy life once again. She is a companion to an elderly woman. When the woman returns home, Max marries the young woman and takes her to Manderley, the beautiful home treasured by his family and decorated lavishly by Rebecca.
Everywhere the young wife looks she sees Rebecca's influence. Even the housekeeper who cared for Rebecca as a child resents her presence. Sinister, devious, she plans to evict her from Manderley. To the young wife, it seems as if Max can only think about Rebecca. He shows little affection and expects much. While her youth and inexperience were part of what caught Max's attention, it leads her into frightening experiences and social errors that make her doubt her decision to marry Max even though she loves him dearly.
As the story unfolds, one discovers there is much more to Rebecca's life than one can imagine. Manderley is only a one place where she spends her time. The ending is unexpected and exciting making this one of the best reads of the year for me.
I thought that this book started off very slow. It was a bit redundant at first. But as I got to the halfway point, the book took a great turn. I couldn't put the book down. Absolutely exceptional! The book is very detailed, almost too detailed.
Do not expect romance, because romantic moments are few and far between.
This is my favorite book of all time! It will be one of your favorites, too, if you read it correctly. Let the author carry you...don't try to think ahead and figure stuff out. The beauty of this book lies in the journey that you and the unnamed young woman are taking together. If you try to think ahead, you will lose some of the details that make this lushly written and beautiful story work. This book totally sucked me in and I felt something for every one of the characters, whether I liked them or not. When you are done with this book, go on to read Stephen King's "Bag of Bones". It's very different, of course, but he references this book often in his story. I have to agree that some of the story is a bit predictable but some of the most important pieces at the end surprised and touched me.
Rebecca is a psychological thriller without sloppy love scenes and no bloody crimes, but the drama is superb. Also a must is the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name, starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson as the housekeeper.
The novel begins, as does a Sherlock Holmes story, with a hint of the denouement. It bodes of tragedy. As I read, I find that her writing rivals that of the Brontes. Rebecca de Winter is an unusual protagonist. She has a secret. Unfortunately, she cannot disclose it, as our heroine has been dead for at least a year. Little by little, we learn about her from the narrator, the next Mrs. de Winter, as she interacts with a host of supporting characters. Rebecca is a maven, and it seems to me as if she is a forebear of Martha Stewart. The deeper that I get into this novel, I return to the title page to verify that I am not reading Jane Eyre. No, wait! It cannot be! They are zipping around in motorcars. At the onset, we are told the fate of Manderley, the de Winter estate. It is similar to that of ?????? Will Du Mauriers characters share a common fate with those of Charlotte Brontes? I am intrigued by the enigmas. Rebecca is loved by everyone, but what is her secret? What is the next Mrs. de Winters given name? Her husband never mentions it; to all else she is Mrs. de Winter. I wait while the narrator peels away the layers that reveal the true Rebecca. Finally, the end sends us back to the beginning. Holmes again. But, certainly not quite Finnegans Wake.
I held off reading this book for a long time - even though it came highly recommended from varied sources -because the book itself is marketed as a romance. And I'm not fond of romances. While there is a story of love in the book, the unraveling of figuring out Rebecca is so much more than that.
This is a book that wants to defy classification. Mystery & suspense is where my gut says to place it, but it's unlike any other I've read. After a tad bit of a slow start, I simply HAD to keep reading and became completely engrossed.
This book was rightfully recommended to me, and I'm sorry I put off reading it as long as I did. You don't want to miss this fascinating book.
Rebecca is a novel of mystery and passion, a dark psychological tale of secrets and betrayal, dead loves and an estate called Manderley that is as much a presence as the humans who inhabit it: "when the leaves rustle, they sound very much like the stealthy movement of a woman in evening dress, and when they shiver suddenly and fall, and scatter away along the ground, they might be the pitter, patter of a woman's hurrying footsteps, and the mark in the gravel the imprint of a high-heeled satin shoe." Manderley is filled with memories of the elegant and flamboyant Rebecca, the first Mrs. DeWinter; with the obsessive love of her housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who observes the young, timid second Mrs. DeWinter with sullen hostility; and with the oppressive silences of a secretive husband, Maxim. Rebecca may be physically dead, but she is a force to contend with, and the housekeeper's evil matches that of her former mistress as a purveyor of the emotional horror thrust on the innocent Mrs. DeWinter. The tension builds as the new Mrs. DeWinter slowly grows and asserts herself, surviving the wicked deceptions of Mrs. Danvers and the silent deceits of her husband, to emerge triumphant in the midst of a surprise ending that leaves the reader with a sense of haunting justice.
Fantastic book... reading Mrs. De Winter The Sequel to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca now. Then on to Rebecca's Tale.
I had to read this book back in the late 1980's/early 90's as required for Honors English in Highschool.. but even though I was required to read the book... I LOVED IT! I recommend it to people who enjoy books such as The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, etc.
The new Mrs. De Winter is made to feel worthless and can not meet up to the expectations of those around her who idolized Rebecca, the first wife, now deceased... She is young, insecure... but as the truth behind the first marriage unwinds you truly love and hate certain characters in the book!
I have re-read this book on occasion throughout the years, and the sequel. And I enjoy it more every time I read it... wondering does Max still love his dead wife... and the truth is sooo shocking!!
This book is so well written... and you can't help but to really feel for the characters.. each and every one..
This story will stay with you forever. It has the lush storytelling that the author is famous for and characters that make you feel deeply for them. This story is one of the few that truly makes you feel as if you are there, living in the story. It is a definite must for any fan of good literature. Although reading this book is a treat, it is one of those that is just as wonderful to hear read aloud. It allows you to just get lost in the story. I highly recommend it!
I always put off reading this story because I thought it was a romance. Granted I based this solely off the book cover, so imagine my delight as I got older and heard that it was instead, decidedly Gothic and creepy.
The entire story is told through a flashback of events that occurred when the unnamed narrator is a hired companion for Mrs. Van Hopper, a gossipy brute of a woman. While traveling through Monte Carlo, they meet Maxim de Winter, whose story is one that Mrs. Van Hopper willingly offers up. Maxim's recent loss of his first wife Rebecca is a sad fate, and as the young narrator spends more time with him, they decide within only a few weeks that they will get married and move to his estate, entitled Manderley.
But upon arriving to Maxim's estate, it becomes quite a different experience than she anticipated. The mansion is huge, with a full staff to keep up the house and grounds, and the ever-present ghost of the beautiful, social, and popular Rebecca is behind everything that is desirable about Manderley, and even the parties she's hosted are still talked about. But not only is she a part of Manderley's past, she is very much a part of a creepy and sinister presence about the house. Rebecca is everywhere that the new bride finds herself in - from the beautiful landscape of the grounds, the cove where Rebecca lost her life, the little cottage down by the sea that she used to rest in after she would go sailing. Rebecca is everywhere, and the new Mrs. De Winter, meek, quiet, and shy, cannot keep up. Even the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers is cold and intimidating, harboring secrets that make the new bride fearful. She knows she is being compared by the housekeeper, the visitors to the house on their social calls, and she can't quite help feeling like even Maxim is doing the same, ultimately wondering if he is contemplating if he made the right choice to marry her.
I loved this story. I've read Du Maurier's short stories last year and enjoyed them, but this struck me much more than anything else and was much, much creepier. It is beautiful and dark and perfect for autumn. I absolutely recommend this story
This book is a jewel. The writing style captivated me from the beginning and my mind didn't wander at all while reading this one (kind of a big deal for me). It was a joy to read, but I can only give it 3.5 stars because I really did not like the ending.
Loved it. I'm surprised this story was written in '38, and I hadn't heard of it till now. The mystery, while a bit predictable, was played out with such great eeriness and foreboding that I didn't care that I'd figured it out. I did find that reading Chapter 1 again after turning the last page was even more interesting, and I recommend everyone else do the same...just for the fun of it.
It's funny that everyone else seems to love this book, I found it boring and painful to get through. I liked the intrigue of the mystery surrounding the first wife, but it was lost amongst her overly active imagination and daydreaming. And I hated the ending. Or should I say, non-ending. Now I remember why I stopped reading this when it was required reading in school.
For the second Mrs. de Winter, the new mistress of Manderley,her husband's great country house was a labyrinth of terror. Wherever she went, whatever she did, the innocent young bride was stalked by the ominous presence of Manderley's first mistress--Rebecca.
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again..." With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated grey stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired when she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room in the immense, foreboding house were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten-a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mr. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walks in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife - the late and hauntinly beautiful Rebecca.
So the second Mrs. Maxin de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windsweot Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant-the sinister Mrs. Danvers-still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.
This was a gripping book about identity as the nameless new wife tries to make sense of her place at Manderley, believing that she could never replace the memory of Rebecca. I enjoyed reading this book and seeing the 1940 Hitchcock film version starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson.
Rebecca: a classic that calls to me and demands to be read time and again. After suffering a series of painful headaches preventing me from reading, my friend surprised me with the audio version I was a little hesitant listening to it, but am so glad I did. Anna Massey does an outstanding job narrating this classic Her soft, clear voice makes for the perfect Mrs. de Winter, and she does a beautiful job of changing her voices tone and accent to fit the other characters as well. I highly recommend to Rebecca lovers.
I loved this old time classic tale. Daphne du Maurier's atmospheric descriptions are vivid and you can easily picture Manderlay as she builds her plot with suspense and clues as the reader follows along. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a real page-turner right down to the last page. I highly recommend Rebecca as it is truly a wonderful read.
(from the back)
"Last Night I Dreamt
I Went To Manderley Again."
So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past ther beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.
The book pictured is newer than the one I have. fair condition. With a husband she barely knew, the young birde arrived at the immese estate only to be inexorable drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca dead but never forgotten.