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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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Rebecca (original 1938; edition 1971)

by Daphne du Maurier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,746376186 (4.22)3 / 1320
Member:MsCellophane
Title:Rebecca
Authors:Daphne du Maurier (Author)
Info:Avon Books (1971), Mass Market Paperback, 380 pages
Collections:Your library, Illinois library
Rating:
Tags:fiction

Work details

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

  1. 294
    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. 142
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (citygirl)
  4. 110
    Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (katie4098)
  5. 90
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (starfishian)
  6. 70
    The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (lois1)
  7. 60
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  8. 60
    Lorna Doone by R. D. 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. 72
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  11. 40
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (nu-bibliophile)
  12. 84
    Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, FutureMrsJoshGroban, nu-bibliophile)
  13. 41
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  14. 30
    Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan, cometahalley)
  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 (361)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (376)
Showing 1-5 of 361 (next | show all)
This classic novel opens with the words, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again". An innocent young woman working as a companion in Monte Carlo receives a proposal from Maxim, a wealthy widower whose first wife died in a boating accident. After they are wed she accompanies him to his Cornwall mansion, the remote Manderley. There she meets his housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, who is still devoted to Maxim's first wife, Rebecca. Mrs Danvers plays mind games with Maxim's new wife, undermining and sabotaging her whenever possible and always comparing her with the 'perfect' Rebecca. One day a diver investigating a shipwreck discovers the remains of Rebecca's boat, with her body still on board, and Maxim confesses the truth about Rebecca to his new wife.

Wonderfully written and compelling. I am extremely glad that I have finally read this classic and I would read it again. Highly recommended. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Jun 29, 2016 |
This book is masterfully written. I could envision what the characters saw...what they looked like (I haven't seen the movie, assuming they've made one). The end blindsided me. I didn't see it coming! If you like intrigue, don't pass over this oldie-but-goodie. ( )
  BonitaMartin | Jun 24, 2016 |
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.
( )
  askajnaiman | Jun 14, 2016 |
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"....A strong opening line that many have heard, even without reading the book.

Rebecca is one of those "classic" novels that no one I know in person has heard of, yet is apparently famous. After reading it, I see there's a good reason it should be so. Sometimes the aged style wilts the book slightly, although it's marvelously gothic. Wicked suspense permeates the second half, with ample emotional wrenching being present in the beginning. The first chapter is the toughest as it primarily deals with just description for many pages, but after this it goes smoother.

Overall the writing is stunning. DeMaurier has a special knack of poetically weaving together dreamy-like sequences. It's easy to relate to the cloud-climbing protagonist simply because your own head finds its easier to seek this mindset after enough flowing of the author's words. It's a unique style that stands out and takes the breath away some. When action is fierce I at times wish some of the rambling fantasizing would cease, but for the most part it's absent when it should be. I'm curious on reading more with this author, she really was quite talented.

As for the plot, it's purely gothic. The protagonist is not a typical headstrong individual, but rather a more submissive, inexperienced young woman, unsure of her confidences. Rather than having a stunning beauty, she is plain and unadorned, not caring for hair fashions and clothing. It's alluded to the fact of how plain she is, and how she minds this, but it is not a stumbling block for long. The ending of the novel is a cliffhanger of sorts, even if we can surmise what has happened from the opening chapters. It is a hectic, frantic rush of an ending in the last paragraphs, leaving off with an ominous and unsettled feeling, which pretty much sums up this entire book.

I dug Maxim, at times he was aloof and cold but I found him intriguing. The infamous Mrs. Danvers was mad and dominating without the author having to put too much obviousness into play. Really, the maids presence does not take up too much page time, but still manages to be present somehow in the mind of the protagonist and readers, nice. Supporting characters are sympathetic and enjoyable props to the heroine's trials.

Anxious to read the sequel and hope it's just as good. This is a classic that you shouldn't pass up, especially if you are into the gothic trend.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Book Description 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.

My Review I loved this old time classic tale. Daphne du Maurier's atmospheric descriptions are vivid and you can easily picture Manderlay as she builds her plot with suspense and clues as the reader follows along. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a real page-turner right down to the last page. I highly recommend Rebecca as it is truly a wonderful read. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 361 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (96 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall 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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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
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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 20 descriptions

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