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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
11,417307239 (4.23)3 / 1110
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)

1930s (5)
  1. 233
    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. 141
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (citygirl)
  4. 110
    Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (katie4098)
  5. 100
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (starfishian)
  6. 70
    The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (lois1)
  7. 70
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  8. 70
    Lorna Doone by Richard Doddridge Blackmore (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another saga set against a hauntingly beautiful landscape - but this time its in Exmoor.
  9. 60
    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. 94
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, FutureMrsJoshGroban, nu-bibliophile)
  11. 40
    Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  12. 62
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  13. 40
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (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. 20
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  16. 20
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  17. 20
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  18. 31
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  19. 32
    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.
  20. 21
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Beezie)

(see all 30 recommendations)

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English (292)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (306)
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
12.10.2011

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I’m still uncertain as to how it captured my attention, even more how it managed to keep it. I really liked the eponymous character better than the actual alive protagonist or her husband. She’s Morgan le fay kind of wild woman, free and powerful and too dangerous to apprehend. So she has to die, obviously.
( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
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. ( )
  krin5292 | Aug 19, 2014 |
This book was incredibly well written, and for the first 300 pages, I really enjoyed it. Even though very little happened in the way of action, it kept the reader interested, and I found myself intrigued by the characters and the setting.

Then Maxim told us what happened.

And somehow, we are supposed to find sympathy with a man who killed his wife in cold blood because he thought she was pregnant with another man's child. He feels no remorse for doing this, and at one point tells us that he would gladly do it again.

And this is our hero.

Our "heroine" if you can call her that, is even worse. Her only reaction to the fact that her husband is a murderer is along the lines of "yay! He really didn't love her, life is good."

Um.

And then the rest of the book is her worrying and fretting and fainting from fear that justice might actually be served (it isn't, unless you consider the burning of their house justice).

I just had a LOT of problems with the last (approximately) hundred pages. Like so many books and movies, it led up to something great, and then really disappointed. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
I’m trying to read older books on occasion, and I picked Rebecca because of the title and because I mistakenly thought it was published in 1939, which was last month’s pick for a classic crime meme hosted by Rich at Past Offences. While I’ve read/watched Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, somehow I’ve missed both the book and the movie of du Maurier’s well-known work. I was vaguely aware of a couple plot points before I started reading, and my copy’s cover is a bit too obvious about the plot, but that didn’t detract from the reading experience.

What struck me most about the reading experience was how incredibly slow the first 200 pages– roughly 2/3 of the book– went. The story in the first two thirds of the book is the story of Maxim de Winter meeting his second wife in Monte Carlo where she is a poor, young companion to a society maven. Another large chunk of the story is devoted to Manderley and de Winter’s first wife, who mysteriously drowned a year before the events of the book. It’s a story about idle rich people keeping up appearances for most of the story, and I found myself wondering when anything would happen in the book. I think the sense of claustrophobia is intentional: the new Mrs. de Winter is trapped at Manderley, married to someone she doesn’t know well, without a lot of options.

I’m not the biggest fan of gothic novels, but this one kept my interest. Jane Eyre did as well, but I didn’t love either of them. I think the writing is quite good, but I prefer stories with a bit of humor, and Rebecca seemed awfully serious to me.
  rkreish | Aug 8, 2014 |
Mystery/revenge type novel. Well written. Young woman swept off her feet and impetuously married to a wealthy landowner moves to his estate and encounters a housekeeper who despises her. Great read. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
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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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Epigraph
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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 7 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 20 descriptions

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