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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca (original 1938; edition 1997)

by Daphne Du Maurier

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11,712318225 (4.23)3 / 1178
Authors:Daphne Du Maurier
Info:Harper Paperbacks (1997), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:2008 Read, Classic Literature, Gothic Literature, British Literature, BEST of 2008, MUST READ

Work details

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

  1. 243
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (chrisharpe, fannyprice, ladybug74, Hollerama)
    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.
    Hollerama: 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. 171
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (Hollerama, EllieH)
    Hollerama: Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel has a similar theme as Rebecca.
  3. 131
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (citygirl)
  4. 100
    Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (katie4098)
  5. 81
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (starfishian)
  6. 60
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  7. 60
    The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (lois1)
  8. 60
    Lorna Doone by Richard Doddridge Blackmore (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another saga set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape - but this time its in Exmoor.
  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. 84
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, FutureMrsJoshGroban, nu-bibliophile)
  11. 40
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (nu-bibliophile)
  12. 30
    Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan, cometahalley)
  13. 52
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  14. 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
  15. 31
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  16. 31
    A sucessora by Carolina Nabuco (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: 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. 10
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  18. 10
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  19. 10
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  20. 44
    Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, nu-bibliophile)
    nu-bibliophile: Very similar but the twist in Bride of Pendorric is better and more surprising.

(see all 31 recommendations)

1930s (6)

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English (302)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (317)
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
Rebecca is one of my favorite novels because of it's re-readability. The reader is invited into the head of its mousy heroine and asked to tread the halls of Manderley, a place where the new Mrs De Winter feels out of place and lost. She sees signs of her predecessor everywhere and she feels inferior to the more accomplished and beautiful woman that came before her.

She is made even more unwelcome by the forbidding housekeeper Mrs Danvers, who doted on the original Rebecca and brings more trouble to the unnamed new wife.

Brilliantly written, a wonderful tale of passion and jealousy. On each reading, I see more of the book and my feelings change with each retelling. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
Rebecca is one of my favorite novels because of it's re-readability. The reader is invited into the head of its mousy heroine and asked to tread the halls of Manderley, a place where the new Mrs De Winter feels out of place and lost. She sees signs of her predecessor everywhere and she feels inferior to the more accomplished and beautiful woman that came before her.

She is made even more unwelcome by the forbidding housekeeper Mrs Danvers, who doted on the original Rebecca and brings more trouble to the unnamed new wife.

Brilliantly written, a wonderful tale of passion and jealousy. On each reading, I see more of the book and my feelings change with each retelling. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
A suspenseful thriller mystery which explores the themes of identity and jealousy stemming from low self-esteem, the novel creates an atmosphere of formidable presence with its antagonists and its open, lush yet oppressive setting of Manderley which is arguably a character itself. The novel glides along with quiet melancholy and subtle gradual reveals, peppers the plot with clues and believable, developing relationships, and finishes with a logical turn of events where nobody escapes unscathed.

The diverse cast of women here needs to be applauded. We have the eponymous character who livedand died!the way she wanted regardless of convention but still knew how to play the social game. We have Mrs Danvers, one of the creepiest villains ever written, who is good at her housekeeping job and also her hobby of psychological manipulation. We have Beatrice who speaks her mind and is largely independent. Antithetical to all these strong women, the novel also deftly captures the naïvety of youth with the narrator's daydreams, her imagined self-transformations, her frivolities, her insecurities and her need to belong.

Some trivial things that I enjoyed include: Maxim's brusqueness to Jasper you idiot! and the narrator, how much the lead up to thecostume dress debaclewas like watching a horror movie where the protagonist is going to investigate a noise in the basement during a blackout caused by a massive storm and you just know it is not going to end well, the fighting scene between Maxim and the narrator which so resembles real-life arguments where you go around in circles, the idle chitchat at the lunch afterraising Rebecca's boatwhich was not afraid to really be four pages of idle chitchat. I also appreciated how the novel illustrated the importance of communication in any relationships, which any reader of the Dear Prudence advice column would know.

This is a novel best read without any preconceived notions: if you are expecting a re-hash of Jane Eyre, you'll be sorely disappointed, romance is not a focus here, nor is a confident, self-possessed young woman. If your only preconception of the novel is Mrs Danvers thanks to Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, continue to pass go. ( )
  kitzyl | Jan 27, 2015 |
Uma simples frase abre o romance, como se fosse o próprio portão de Manderley que se abrisse para o leitor:
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again".
Foi difícil para mim compreender aquele primeiro capítulo inicial: todo ele a descrição de um sonho, a revisitação de um lugar, o porquê da impossibilidade dos personagens em lá voltarem, as saudades que dele tinham. É preciso ler todo o "Rebecca", até mesmo à última folha, para perceber o porquê. Uma coisa eu já tinha certeza antes ainda de o ter acabado: estava a ler um dos melhores livros que tinha lido até ao momento. A escrita de Daphne du Maurier é muito boa, envolvente, rica e facilita a visualização dos lugares e situações.
O livro é narrado por uma jovem que depressa se percebe que é insegura, jovem e algo inexperiente. É, no geral, uma pessoa inteligente mas introvertida que consegue cativar Max de Winter, que a pede em casamento. Todos os capítulos até à chegada a mansão após o casamento e lua-de-mel parecem como um enorme prelúdio: fala-se em Manderley, fala-se em Rebecca, na sua vida e morte, mas tudo parece ser algo distante e despreocupado.
O momento chave de entrada em Manderley acontece quando a jovem conhece Mrs Danvers:
"Someone advanced from the sea of faces, someone tall and gaunt, dressed in deep black, whose prominent cheek-bones and great, hollow eyes gave her a skull's face, parchment-white, set on a skeleton's frame. She came towards me, and I held out my hand, envying her for her dignity and her composure; but when she took my hand hers was limp and heavy, deathly cold, and it lay in mine like a lifeless thing. 'This is Mrs Danvers,' said Maxim, and she began to speak, still leaving that dead hand in mine, her hollow eyes never leaving my eyes, so that my own wavered and would not meet hers, and as they did so her hand moved in mine, the life returned to it, and I was aware of a sensation of discomfort and of shame."
O mais interessante é as reviravoltas inesperadas: a narrativa desenrola-se de uma forma algo devagar, serena, contemplativa e, subitamente, o inesperado acontece. Uma revelação, um evento e a história mudava subitamente de rumo, aquilo que parecia acontecer não acontecia, o improvável revelava-se. Até ao fim, até à última página.
Pessoalmente gostei muito mais dos personagens secundários do que dos principais: a jovem narradora com as suas inseguranças consegue ser extenuante (apesar de ser eficaz para a criação de suspense) e o Max de Winter consegue ser detestável durante 99,9% da história. Até da própria Rebecca gostei, personagem que apenas conhecemos através da memória dos outros. É no entanto a Mrs Danvers a figura mais enigmática e interessante de todo o livro, uma das vilãs que mais arrepios me provocou até hoje.
Quando terminei a leitura deste livro procurei saber um pouco mais sobre a escritora e foi interessante descobrir os eventos da vida real da escritora que a levaram a escrever "Rebecca". Toda a história ganhou uma nova dimensão perante os meus olhos: o porquê da narradora ser uma jovem ingénua e mais jovem que o marido, o fantasma da mulher anterior, as comparações na boca das pessoas. Quanto mais semanas passam depois de terminada a leitura de "Rebecca" mais percebo a sua complexidade e a quantidade de temas e sentimentos complexos abordados na obra. Este livro não é apenas um thriller ou um mistério para resolver: é um caminho para a maturidade, para a confiança e amor no casamento e para a descoberta de uma identidade própria e confiança em si mesmo. ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
wonderful, atmospheric thriller ( )
  cjeskriett | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beauman, SallyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burnett, VirgilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, AnnaNarratorsecondary 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.
Frank knew, but Maxim did not know that he knew. And Frank did not want Maxim to know that he knew. And we all stood there, looking at one another, keeping up these little barriers between us.
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:52 -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)

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