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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
11,868330223 (4.23)3 / 1233
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)

Recently added byprivate library, rena200, NewLiz, waltser1, SCWilson, Henbaben
Legacy LibrariesAstrid Lindgren, Carl Sandburg
  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. 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. 132
    The Thirteenth Tale 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 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Shirley Jackson (teelgee)
  14. 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
  15. 31
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (DaraBrooke)
  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
    Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy (WildMaggie)
  18. 10
    Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier (Z-Ryan)
  19. 10
    Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim (bell7)
  20. 44
    Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt (kraaivrouw, nu-bibliophile)
    nu-bibliophile: Very similar but the twist in Bride of Pendorric is better and more surprising.

(see all 31 recommendations)

1930s (7)
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English (314)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (329)
Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
Angus and Robertson Top 100 (2006 - 2008) Book #96.
I have never been a very big fan of authors like Jane Austin. Unfortunately, this book reminded me much of the style of writing of Jane Austen (very little being said in far too many words). I did not enjoy this book at all, and found myself quite bored whilst reading it. ( )
  amme_mr | May 5, 2015 |
I hungrily devoured this book; it has been a long time since I have been so gripped by a novel. I loved the suspense, the claustrophobia despite living in a huge house and the menacing characters. We never get to know the protagonists name; her identity is always defined by her relationship to others- creepy. ( )
  martensgirl | Apr 7, 2015 |
This is a deceptively simple story, but it's a classic for a reason. There is so much going on here!

On its face, it's the story of an insecure, inexperienced nameless(!) bride who is swept off her feet and brought to the fancy estate of her new husband, a recent widower. Once there, she finds herself being compared to his first wife, Rebecca, who was by all accounts beautiful, vivacious, fashionable, popular, independent, and a force of nature. Isolated and lacking self-esteem, the new Mrs. de Winter finds herself falling into self-doubt, paranoia, and despair, aided by the gaslighting housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (who adored Rebecca).

I don't want to give away all the twists and turns here, but let's just say that du Maurier has the major plot pivot happen about halfway through the book and STILL has you turning the pages impatiently 'til the end; it's that good.

Perhaps the most brilliant aspect is that she makes you, the reader, complicit in some of the shenanigans. You find yourself rooting for people whom you might otherwise be horrified by, and that takes skill. You also might not realize until much later that there were more victims than you thought (sorry for the vagueness) and fewer heroes. The book also has an opening sentence for the ages, and perfect bookends of opening/closing.

It's not a perfect book--some of the prose can be a bit turgid for today's audiences (that's why I took half a star off). But if you're a fan of Jane Eyre, try this one--it's outstanding. ( )
  Pat_F. | Apr 6, 2015 |
It was good, but not as great as I expected. Must see if there's a movie. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
It was good, but not as great as I expected. Must see if there's a movie. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (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.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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
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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