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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca (1938)

by Daphne du Maurier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,737449230 (4.22)3 / 1479
  1. 325
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (chrisharpe, fannyprice, ladybug74, HollyMS)
    chrisharpe: There are some similarities between these two books: a young woman marries an older widower and moves to his mansion, where the marriage is challenged by the unearthly presence of the first wife.
    fannyprice: These two books reminded me a lot of each other but Rebecca was more modern and somewhat less preachy.
    HollyMS: Since Rebecca was published, observers have noticed that it has parallels to Jane Eyre. Both are dark stories about young women who marry wealthy Englishmen.
  2. 211
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier (HollyMS, EllieH)
    HollyMS: Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel has a similar theme as Rebecca.
  3. 140
    Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier (katie4098)
  4. 143
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (citygirl)
  5. 90
    The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier (lois1)
  6. 90
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  7. 91
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (starfishian)
  8. 70
    Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another saga set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape - but this time its in Exmoor.
  9. 82
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  10. 50
    Thornyhold by Mary Stewart (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Although I believe that du Maurier was the better writer, Thornyhold and many others by Mary Stewart give the same suspenseful feeling.
  11. 50
    Don't Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier (Z-Ryan, cometahalley)
  12. 51
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  13. 84
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, FutureMrsJoshGroban, nu-bibliophile)
  14. 30
    Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: first person narrative; ambiguous supernatural elements; slow unravelling of a mystery in a historical British setting
  15. 30
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (nu-bibliophile)
  16. 20
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  17. 20
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  18. 32
    A Sucessora by Carolina Nabuco (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: When Rebecca came out, there were accusations that Daphne du Maurier had plagiarized A sucessora (The Sucessor) by Brazilian author Carolina Nabuco. Read it and decide for yourself.
  19. 10
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  20. 00
    The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas (generalkala)

(see all 32 recommendations)

1930s (4)
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English (432)  Spanish (4)  French (4)  Italian (3)  German (3)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (449)
Showing 1-5 of 432 (next | show all)
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." Even if you have never read this classic mystery, you probably could associate this opening line with this novel. I could and I had unfortunately not read this novel, which is included in a number of "best of" lists.

The story involves a woman in her early 20s employed as a senior companion traveling Europe wwith her employer ho meets the 42-year-old Max de Winter, a wealthy, recent widower. After dating for only a couple of weeks she agrees to marry him and returns to Manderley. Although Max's first wife, Rebecca, died in a boating accident, her oppressive absence is very much alive. The new Mrs. de Winter meets the head houekeeper and antagonist, Mrs. Danvers, who was very devoted to Rebecca. Picture Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz and you have a pretty good description of Mrs. Danvers. Shortly after returning to Manderley, Max distances himself from the new Mrs. de Winter leaving her in the sinister hands of Mrs. Danvers and occupying her time roaming the gardens and grounds and seacoast of Manderley.

I don't know why I was reluctant to read Rebecca but I'm glad I finally did. Daphne du Maurier was masterful in presenting Manderley as another characters. The beauty of the setting belied a foreboding nature. The eponymous title was appropriate since Rebecca was very much alive through Mrs. Danvers and Max de Winter. This effect was heightened by the author since our protagonist's Christian name is never identified when Rebecca's was frequently spoken. All we know is that Max found her name enchanting.

If you have never read this classic, don't hesitate; pick up this fine example of Gothic literature. You won't regret it. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 21, 2019 |
The novel has been termed as a 'Gothic Romance' but for me, it dealt with the charades we go through to maintain a certain superficial image in society and how it has the potential to ruin us. What intrigued me most was that the narrator is never named and is identified only by her relation to the 'hero'. Her need for self-worth, an identity, the desire to belong makes her trust and follow her husband blindly, never even considering to question his side of the story... Unconditional love or blind trust? Rebecca, the novel, to me, embodies the fact that there is almost always more to the story than what meets the eye... and sadly, we never get to hear Rebecca's side. What we get instead are glimpses of her personality from other character's points of view who are either absolutely devoted to her or loathe her. ( )
  Megha17 | Jan 17, 2019 |
This would have gotten a better review, because it was spledidly written, had it not been for the novel's central character, Mrs de Winter. God, what a young, naive, stupid, girl. I wanted to shake her, slap her, make her come alive! Rebecca is the tale of a young girl marrying an older wealthy widow and then returning with him to his great manor, Manderly. Unfortunately for the new Mrs. de Winter, the presence of Rebecca haunts every hallway, every garden, every object in that grand house. Even the staff seems to have preferred Rebecca. According to everyone she was beautiful, witty, vivacious, and charming; the best of women. Poor Mrs. de Winter is no substitute, she can't compete with the dead (not that she tries very hard), even her new husband seems to have become bored of her. As she tries to maintain her sanity and prove that she is capable; she starts to realize that there is far more that no one is telling her. A haunting and captivating novel, I just wish our "heroine" was up to the challenge, instead of being a doormat for everyone she meets! ( )
  ecataldi | Dec 17, 2018 |
Unnamed narrator tells story of her marriage to owner of Manderley whose wife died in the previous year. The bride is intimidated by the cruel housekeeper and Rebecca’s memory. An ship running aground reveals an ugly truth. This was the third time in my life that I read this book. ( )
  bereanna | Dec 9, 2018 |
Incredible. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 432 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (131 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
du Maurier, Daphneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beauman, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burnett, VirgilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dietsch, J.N.C. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kortemeier, S.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scalero, AlessandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schab, Karin vonÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stibolt, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vasara, HelviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
'You see,' she said, snapping the top, and walking down the stairs, 'you are so very different from Rebecca.'
We came to Manderley in early May, arriving, so Maxim said, with the first swallows and the bluebells. It would be the best moment, before the full flush of summer, and in the valley the azaleas would be prodigal of scent and the blood-red rhododendrons in bloom.
Forget it, Mrs. de Winter, forget it, as he has done, thank heaven, and the rest of us. We none of us want to bring back the past, Maxim least of all. And it's up to you, you know, to lead us away from it. Not to take us back there again.
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.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again..."

So the second Mrs. Maxim 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 windswept Cornish coast. Working as a lady's companion, she learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proprosal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. 

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.
Haiku summary
Nameless narrator

marries wealthy widower;

haunting Rebecca.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380730405, Paperback)

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. 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 walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier's original epilogue to the book, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:11 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The second Mrs. Maxim de Winter finds it difficult and frightening to live in the shadow of her predecessor, a situation that is exacerbated by her husband's moodiness, and the presence of sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.

» see all 28 descriptions

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