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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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Rebecca (original 1938; edition 2002)

by Daphne du Maurier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,667315228 (4.23)3 / 1165
Member:JonnySaunders
Title:Rebecca
Authors:Daphne du Maurier
Info:Perfection Learning (2002), Hardcover
Collections:Read, Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:1001 Books

Work details

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

1930s (6)
Unread books (1,027)
  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
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (kiwiflowa, lahochstetler)
  7. 70
    The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (lois1)
  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. 40
    Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (nu-bibliophile)
  13. 62
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  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
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  16. 20
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  17. 31
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  18. 20
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  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 31 recommendations)

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English (299)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (313)
Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
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 |
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

I decided to re-read Rebecca a couple of months ago, I started the books…and then other books managed to get in the way. But I decided to finish the book a couple of days ago.

I have also must I point out I have seen the movie version, I have also seen three miniseries (Two British and one Italien). So the story wasn't lost in the mist in the brain. But still I enjoyed reading it.

Out nameless narrator (she is never named in the book everyone just calls her Mrs de Winter) meets Maxime de Winter in Monte Carlo, his has tragically lost his wife just a year before. They spend time in each other’s company and he proposes when the time comes for her to leave Monte Carlo with the women she works as a companion. Happily she accepts and after they are married they go on a honeymoon and finally come homes to his estate Manderley. She has a hard time there since she always feels like she is pales in comparison to the beautiful Rebecca, Maxims first wife. What happens next? Well it’s up to you to find out…

Rebecca is a well written book. I just have a lot of problem with the main characters, she is too naïve and shy for my liking and many times I just want her to stop being so insecure. But its part of her charm I suppose that made Maxim fall in love with her. She is quite the opposite to Rebecca. Unfortunately she doesn’t know that until Maxim tells her the truth about his first marriage.

The story is good and it’s easy to see that Daphne du Maurier was quite inspired with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë when she wrote the book. But even though I enjoyed reading the book again I just didn’t feel myself pulled into the story. It was fun to re-read it but reading this book felt sometimes forced like I will read 50 pages now and then do something else. As I mentioned before the main character just annoyed me so much. That took away some of the joy of reading the book. On the plus side, I loved it towards the end when she finally stood up for herself and didn’t let Mrs Danvers bully her no more.

Review also posted on And Now for Something Completely Different and It's a Mad Mad World ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 11, 2014 |
Maybe if I had read this book 20 years ago, I would have liked it. But I just cannot relate to the main character, and I have no desire to continue this book. I gave it about 100 pages, but the unnamed lead is so spineless and insecure that reading was physically painful and a trial. I just cannot waste my time on characters I care nothing about, and the overwrought language had me rolling my eyes constantly. There are way too many other books calling my name right now. ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
A vivid nightmare. The imagery in Rebecca instantly envelops the reader in a shroud of apprehension. Even the author’s descriptions of the trees and shrubs speak of fear and treachery. She builds the tension so effectively that “when the telephone rang,” I jumped along with the second Mrs. de Winter. Rebecca is haunting, lyrical, sinister and beautifully written with each word chosen for maximum effect. Hitchcock made this book into a film, and it’s easy to see why. It lends itself to Hitchcock quite well. I highly recommend this book for fans of romantic suspense and mysteries. This book also won the Anthony Award for best novel of the century. ( )
1 vote TheLoopyLibrarian | Oct 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 299 (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
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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 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)

» see all 21 descriptions

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