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Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman

Rebecca's Tale (2001)

by Sally Beauman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I seldom like a sequel to a story that is written by someone other than the original author, but this is an exception. For anyone who loved Rebecca, this is the book that will put her in a context different from any you might have imagined. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
I don't know how much I would have enjoyed this book had I not read duMaurier's Rebecca. But, since I did, this book was interesting and it made me re-think many of my impressions of Rebecca. It is a must-read for those who've read Rebecca. ( )
  SMBrick | Feb 25, 2018 |
While the style is not, as advertised, very similar to DuMaurier's, this book did raise some interesting questions that I had only recently begun to think about myself. For example, why was there no mention of Rebecca's family besides Favell?


Why was there so much blood if she was shot cleanly through the heart, and how could a shot through the heart not leave a mark on the skeleton?

In this book, Beauman casts doubt on a lot of the veracity of Maxim de Winter's account of his dealings with Rebecca. Less successfully, she tries to build a past for Rebecca that includes acting professionally in a small-time travelling troupe, makes her Maxim's forgotten first cousin, gives her an illegitimate younger brother, and makes Colonel Julyan into Rebeccas' greatest admirer. Worse, she makes her the victim of a childhood rape that has apparently resulted in Rebecca hating all males. It is hinted that she has murdered multiple men and calmly stated that she sleeps with multiple men while married.

Despite all of this, Rebecca is held up as an example to follow for her independence, verve, and freedom of spirit. In the less interesting story that is told to frame Rebecca's story, Colonel Julyan's daughter ends up rejecting an offer of marriage because she is trying to decide, "what would Rebecca do?" While I understand the fascination that Rebecca inspires, seeing people of the fifties choosing Rebecca as a role model just didn't ring true. She sleeps around, lies constantly, and very likely murders people, so let's be like her because she's beautiful and unique? No thanks. Historically, the fact that multiple characters come out of the closet and noone seems to care is pretty unrealistic, a problem I have found in a lot of modern books. Whatever your views today, the fact is that in recent times past people were just not so casual about homosexuality.


Overall, I found this a fun book to read and found some parts of Rebecca's past plausible, but would have to say it is far from anything Daphne du Maurier would have written. It lacks subtlety and atmosphere and is not beautifully written like the original. There will be no lines you will want to write into a quote book, and the story about Colonel Julyan, his daughter, and a young man looking for his connection to Rebecca is ultimately very forgettable. As would be expected, it is Rebecca herself who remains vivid and fascinating, though the reader will probably reject some of her background as silly. This book is worth reading if you are a Rebecca fanatic, so long as you read it with only moderate expectations. ( )
  aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
Everyone thinks they know Rebecca's story. But when a mysterious person starts sending Rebecca's notebooks to her old friend, the cracks in the tale begin to show.

I am automatically intrigued by a book that promises a continuation on a story I really enjoyed, and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a great Gothic classic.

Beauman puts an intriguing spin on the mystery behind what truly happened to Rebecca all those years ago, and utilizes some excellent and surprising twists to keep this an intriguing mystery.

The book feels too long. I love a good, epic tale, but Rebecca's Tale felt like it contained too much filler.

I wouldn't say drop everything and read this book, but if you liked Rebecca, I would recommend giving Rebecca's Tale a chance. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Dec 13, 2016 |
First of all, I have to point out that this book is nowhere near as good as Rebecca, it has none of the elegant writing, the sweeping scenery or the atmosphere that I loved about the original. It is also nothing like Rebecca, as it's set up more as a mystery. Having said that, it had some good parts and some interesting aspects. The story was set (mostly) 20 years after Rebecca's death and is told by 4 characters, including Rebecca. This alone disrupts the flow of the story considerably and, as so often is the case, some parts were better than others. The book explores Rebecca's origins as well as what really happened to her, although in the course of reading the book I found that I didn't actually want to know any of this. It does flesh out some of the characters of the original, but overall I found it added little to the story. It was ok, I enjoyed parts of it, but I wouldn't read it again. It definitely didn't take me back to Manderlay. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sally Beaumanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Powell, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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We were riding through the frozen fields in a wagon at dawn. A red wing rose in the darkness. And suddenly a hare ran across the road. One of us pointed to it with his hand. That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive. Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture. O my love, where are they, where are they going The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles. I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

-"Encounter," Czeslaw Milosz, The Collected Poems, 1931-1987

...They thought death was worth it, but I Have a self to recover, a queen. Is she dead, is she sleeping? Where has she been, With her lion-red body, her wings of glass? Now she is flying. More terrible than she ever was, red Scar in the sky, red comet Over the engine that killed her-The mausoleum, the wax house. -"Stings." Sylvia Plath, Ariel

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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006117467X, Paperback)

April 1951. It has been twenty years since the death of Rebecca, the hauntingly beautiful first wife of Maxim de Winter, and twenty years since Manderley, the de Winter family's estate, was destroyed by fire. But Rebecca's tale is just beginning.

Colonel Julyan, an old family friend, receives an anonymous package concerning Rebecca. An inquisitive young scholar named Terence Gray appears and stirs up the quiet seaside hamlet with questions about the past and the close ties he soon forges with the Colonel and his eligible daughter, Ellie. Amid bitter gossip and murky intrigue, the trio begins a search for the real Rebecca and the truth behind her mysterious death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"April 1951. It is twenty years since the death of Rebecca, the hauntingly beautiful first wife of Maxim de Winter. It is twenty years since the inquest, which famously - and controversially - passed a verdict of suicide. Twenty years since Manderley, the de Winters' ancient family seat, was razed to the ground." "But Rebecca's tale is just beginning." "Family friend Colonel Julyan receives an anonymous parcel in the post. It contains a black notebook with two handwritten words on the first page - Rebecca's Tale - and two pictures: a photograph of Rebecca as a young child and a postcard of Manderley." "A mysterious young scholar by the name of Terence Gray has also appeared in town, looking for clues to Rebecca's life and death. His presence causes a stir in the quiet hamlet, and the tongues that had wagged about Rebecca years before now attend to the close ties Gray has formed to the Colonel and his single daughter, Ellie." "Amid the intrigues of this small coastal town, Ellie, Gray, and the Colonel begin a search for the real Rebecca. Was she the manipulative, promiscuous femme fatale her husband claimed, or the Gothic heroine of tragic proportions that others have suggested? Was her death really suicide, or was it murder?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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