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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
11,441309236 (4.23)3 / 1114
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 (6)
  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. 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 (294)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (308)
Showing 1-5 of 294 (next | show all)
The 2nd Mrs. de Winter meets her husband in Monte Carlo in the years just after World War I. She is a respectable, but penniless girl working as a paid companion to a vulgar American woman. Maxim de Winter is a wealthy Englishman on vacation, trying to come to terms with the drowning of his vibrant and beautiful wife, Rebecca. They marry quickly after their first meeting. Then they return to Maxim’s English estate, Manderly.

Pretty, but insecure, the new Mrs. de Winter rapidly becomes obsessed with her predecessor Rebecca. Rebecca was beautiful, charming, accomplished and loved by all. All the things that the 2nd nameless wife feels that she is not. Adding to her insecurity is the head housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers was with Rebecca from her childhood and clearly resents the idea that her precious Rebecca has been replaced. Rebecca was far more then what she seemed however. Her beautiful facade masked an ugly history, which haunts Manderly and threatens the 2nd de Winter marriage. ( )
  queencersei | Sep 15, 2014 |
I picked this up at a charity sale, thinking I must be one of the few people who hadn't read it (or seen the movie). I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It's well written and I enjoyed watching the narrator navigate her life as a new wife competing with the memory of her deceased predecessor.

The characters were, at times, a bit stereotyped. The plot was, at times, a bit of a stretch. But a gripping read nonetheless. ( )
  LynnB | Sep 1, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 294 (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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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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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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Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

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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