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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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Rebecca (original 1938; edition 1962)

by Daphne du Maurier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,013337215 (4.22)3 / 1261
Member:chrisharpe
Title:Rebecca
Authors:Daphne du Maurier
Info:Penguin (1962), Paperback, 376 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Itziar's

Work details

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

  1. 264
    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. 181
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (Hollerama, EllieH)
    Hollerama: Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel has a similar theme as Rebecca.
  3. 132
    The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel 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. 41
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  15. 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
  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
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  18. 10
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  19. 10
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  20. 00
    The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas (generalkala)

(see all 31 recommendations)

1930s (6)
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English (321)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (336)
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
This is my first novel by Daphne Du Maurier, and to be honest I was a bit skeptic at first. But then I noticed that Hitchcock appreciated her writings enough to have made more than one movie and that is what probably got me allured. :P

When I began reading Rebecca, I was taken by the surprisingly easy yet captivating narrative. It sort of caught me off guard. I can't exactly recall reading a psychological thriller with such beautiful prose or very interesting metaphors.
"A bowl of roses in a drawing-room had a depth of colour and scent they had not possessed in the open. There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair. In the house they became mysterious and subtle."

The mystery was somehow not so difficult to guess. But the execution of it was nicely done. The book's main element seemed to be its its lead characters instead of the the mystery itself - How they reveal themselves and how each develop. I liked Maxim more near the end, I liked his new wife (very interesting how her actual first/maiden name never comes up!) from the beginning. She is someone so inexperienced to the manipulative ways of the world, someone not corrupted by life. Although an adult, she has very much he innocence of a young girl just learning about reality. She may be called naive, but I don't believe naivety is such a negative thing, not in all, not for every thing. At first Maxim seemed to me to be the manipulative older man, who caught hold of something simpler and purer for his own pass-time. But then near the end I could see why Maxim would be so attracted to someone as naive as her.

I could relate to Manderley as well. May be because I had the luxury to grow up in a house with a big garden, pond and close to nature. But I felt for the irritation, the pain that must have been inflicted upon the old inhabitants by a third person, an outsider, with her perfect ways and too perfect modifications.

I haven't watched the movie, but I plan to now that I've read the book. And I hope to read some more of Du Maurier's work. ( )
  PsYcHe_Sufi | Jul 12, 2015 |
One of the things I love about this challenge is that it has and continues to push me to read the classics that have been on my TBR for many years. Rebecca was one of those classics that made me feel like I'm the only one in the book blogosphere that hadn't read it! So many of my book bloggy pals and Goodreads friends had raved about this book, but it was just another one of those books that seemed like it'd be forever on my shelf. Until one of my favorite aunts told me it was her absolute favorite book. She's not a big reader and I hadn't ever heard her talk about a novel like she did with Rebecca. That and the fact that I got a gorgeous copy for Christmas last year cinched the deal for me. I just knew I'd have to read this book and I'm so glad that I did!!

The Beginning:
Although intriguing, overall it was kind of slow moving. It took me a LONG LONG time to get into it.

I liked how it started, but the first part was actually the epilogue which threw me off and at the end I had to reread it. Then I thought it was brilliant and perfect Everything came together and in the beginning when I read it I felt sufficiently spooked and melancholy.

Our nameless heroine meets Maxim. Her attitude and demeanor made me feel kind of sorry for her. She was just so hopeless and never stood up for herself. That was her personality though and it was completely authentic, so I loved that.

The Middle:
As our heroine moves to Manderly, the mystic surrounding the epic manor and grounds is intensified and I was so excited yet nervous as she drove down the long driveway for the first time. Some great foreshadowing and then when she enters the house it's crazy how much it seemed like a horror movie (in the start of the movie, that is).

The End:
My favorite part! The middle brought up the mystery and I loved how everything built up. I also just enjoyed getting to know the characters (there was a great cast of characters). I was surprised by the ending and thought I knew what was going to happen. I mean…I read the introduction which is the epilogue so I kinda knew ..but didn't realize how many surprises there'd be!

Thoughts:
While this isn't my top favorite classic, or even top 5…I did still really love it. It's a great novel. I'm so glad I read it and I can see how it made the favorite list for many people. It was the pacing that got me to give it 4 stars instead of 5..if the pacing was better it'd be higher on my list of favs. But still, I'd read more by Daphne du Marier. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
A psychological thriller ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Jun 24, 2015 |
Rebecca begins with one of my favourite opening lines 'last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again' and continues weaving its romantic, mysterious spell from there on in. One of the striking things about the book is that the narrator of the story, despite being at the centre of the goings on in Manderley, is never addressed by her first name. You never find out exactly who she is, other than the second Mrs de Winter, which really sums up just how overshadowed she is by the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca. I found this book exquisitely detailed, dark and gripping. ( )
1 vote AmiloFinn | Jun 13, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book. Sort of. Mostly when I wasn't reading it. I felt like the book was just too long to get its point across--that Daphne du Maurier could have cut out 50 or so pages of "Our unnamed protaganist now will contemplate on the scenery at Manderley, or about how Mrs. Danvers dislikes her, or how she is too timid to goddamn stand up for herself." Clearly I have some reservations.

However! I think the novel really wrapped itself up nicely in the end (although you do have to do some thinking--or Googling--for yourself to figure it out), and that it was a classic love story.

Overall, a pretty good story that I probably wouldn't read over again, but I think it's a very good book. I can understand why it's a Classic and why people absolutely and smashingly fall in love with it, I just wouldn't place myself in those ranks.

Edited about a month after I read it: changed my review from 4 to 5 stars. When I think of this book in retrospect, I love it a lot more for its classic elements, the haunting beauty of Manderley, that sort of thing. ( )
1 vote Proustitutes | Jun 11, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (47 possible)

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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Dedication
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.
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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Wikipedia in English (3)

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 21 descriptions

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