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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
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Rebecca (original 1938; edition 2013)

by Daphne Du Maurier (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,902414150 (4.22)3 / 1424
Member:AngYoder
Title:Rebecca
Authors:Daphne Du Maurier (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2013), 449 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

  1. 304
    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. 182
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (HollyMS, EllieH)
    HollyMS: Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel has a similar theme as Rebecca.
  3. 110
    Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier (katie4098)
  4. 143
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (citygirl)
  5. 100
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (starfishian)
  6. 90
    The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier (lois1)
  7. 70
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  8. 82
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  9. 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.
  10. 50
    Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another saga set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape - but this time its in Exmoor.
  11. 40
    Don't Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier (Z-Ryan, cometahalley)
  12. 84
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, FutureMrsJoshGroban, nu-bibliophile)
  13. 51
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  14. 30
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (nu-bibliophile)
  15. 20
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  16. 31
    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.
  17. 20
    Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: first person narrative; ambiguous supernatural elements; slow unravelling of a mystery in a historical British setting
  18. 10
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  19. 10
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  20. 00
    The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas (generalkala)

(see all 31 recommendations)

1930s (4)
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Showing 1-5 of 397 (next | show all)
Halfway through this. I tried reading it when I was younger and couldn't get into it. It's more interesting now I'm older. Someone in another review compared it to a modernized Jane Eyre; I must agree.
  AngYoder | Jan 12, 2018 |
Rebecca is, of course, indebted to Jane Eyre in all sorts of consciously thematic and perhaps unconsciously associative ways, but the book has always maintained its own peculiar identity which puts it out of the category of mere imitation or 'tribute' fiction. Most important is du Maurier's tone, or rather that which she gives her own 'Jane': where Bronte's heroine is boldly certain and declarative, the 'I' who narrates Rebecca is self-effacing and habitually deferential, made clear by the singular device (which is also a dark joke) of keeping herself nameless throughout. The namelessness itself may trip readers into thinking that this will be an example of an unreliable narrative; but there is the important and almost never commented upon device of those first introductory chapters - a device unused in Jane Eyre, which proceeds in strict linear fashion - before the 'flashback' which takes up the rest of the story. This is no attempt to muddy the narratorial waters, much less to complicate the reader's point of view; rather, it is the second Mrs. de Winter's open declaration that the story of her own growth and disillusionment, while told from her own present-day understanding, must be gone through step by step from the moment she entered it several years before. And, fascinatingly, while she is continually kept in the dark about Rebecca herself, nothing we eventually discover about this apparent enigma contradicts what we have known from the beginning - the picture of Rebecca's actions is deepened and complicated, but not contradicted or confused. For instance, Maxim's confession at the end is entirely (if berserkly) consonant with what everyone else in the novel has been telling his new wife about his 'adoration' of Rebecca all along, and this is reinforced by another key element of the book that, as with the significance of the opening chapters, is often taken for granted. The narrator's own marriage with Maxim goes through multiple stages from unquestioning adoration to furious hurt, and at the end (which, of course, we've read first) she has become a mixture of mother, wife, and faithful retainer. The 'flashback' is the story of how they got there, as well as boosting belief in the seemingly sinister earlier marriage. And in none of this is there the intention, self-declared by the narrator, or implied by the author, that the heroine is unreliable in what she tells us: there are discoveries that flesh out previously more vague interpretations, but no reversals, and the narrator's framing of the story puts you on notice that she is very much in control of it. ( )
  antao | Dec 19, 2017 |
What can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? A masterpiece of slow-burning suspense. To those critics who viciously panned the book when it was first published, I have only this to say: the book is still widely read, and nobody remembers who you are. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
Update: Reread or rather listened to the audio version of Rebecca and have raised the rating from 3 stars to 4.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

I decided to re-read Rebecca a couple of months ago, I started the books…and then other books managed to get in the way. But I decided to finish the book a couple of days ago.

I have also must I point out I have seen the movie version, I have also seen three miniseries (Two British and one Italien). So the story wasn't lost in the mist in the brain. But still, I enjoyed reading it.

Out nameless narrator (she is never named in the book everyone just calls her Mrs de Winter) meets Maxime de Winter in Monte Carlo, his has tragically lost his wife just a year before. They spend time in each other’s company and he proposes when the time comes for her to leave Monte Carlo with the women she works as a companion. Happily, she accepts and after they are married they go on a honeymoon and finally come homes to his estate Manderley. She has a hard time there since she always feels like she pales in comparison to the beautiful Rebecca, Maxim's first wife. What happens next? Well, it’s up to you to find out…

Rebecca is a well-written book. I just have a lot of problem with the main characters, she is too naïve and shy for my liking and many times I just want her to stop being so insecure. But it's part of her charm I suppose that made Maxim fall in love with her. She is quite the opposite to Rebecca. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know that until Maxim tells her the truth about his first marriage.

The story is good and it’s easy to see that Daphne du Maurier was quite inspired with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë when she wrote the book. But even though I enjoyed reading the book again I just didn’t feel pulled into the story. It was fun to re-read it but reading this book felt sometimes forced like I will read 50 pages now and then do something else. As I mentioned before the main character just annoyed me so much. That took away some of the joy of reading the book. On the plus side, I loved it towards the end when she finally stood up for herself and didn't let Mrs. Danvers bully her anymore. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
I picked up this book off of my shelf one day when I was feeling particularly guilty about my lack of progress in my classics sub-challenge, despite the eight or so books I was already reading at the time (including a library book currently maxed out on number of rechecks.) Then, once I picked it up, I could hardly put it down -- spending as much of my time as possible snuggled into blankets on the couch or in bed with this book.

This book is definitely a gothic novel, despite not having been written in the Victorian age. Young, near-penniless widow marries older, far richer widower, and moves to isolated seaside estate. The kind of house that has a name: Manderley. House has abandoned wings and is almost certainly haunted. Widower's first wife spoken of in reverent tones by all, still manages to come across as frighteningly sinister. Her death shrouded in mystery.

But something else makes it above the pulp thrillers of its day. Exactly what that something is is hard to define. It's just all so well-wrought, perhaps. Every page is so evocative, and over a fairly wide range of emotion. There's nothing one-note about this. And while the setup could easily be Mary Sue or class wish-fulfillment, it is much more complex than that.

Verdict: a classic that's definitely worth it. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 397 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (134 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarner, MargaretRetold bymain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beauman, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burnett, VirgilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, AnnaNarratorsecondary 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.
Quotations
'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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 28 descriptions

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