on December 17th 2013
Genres: Classic, Mystery, Romance
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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
It’s no wonder Alfred Hitchcock adapted Rebecca for the silver screen.
Daphne du Maurier’s Gothic tale of horror follows the tumultuous relationship between Maxim de Winter and his second, much younger, wife, whom he meets while virtually escaping the memories he has of his home in England, Manderley.
Maxim quickly marries his young bride and whisks her away to Manderley from Monte Carlo, where she is a paid companion to Mrs. Van Hopper.
Only the second Mrs. de Winter does not find herself welcome at the estate, especially by the private maid to Maxim’s dead first wife, Rebecca, and house manager, Mrs. Danvers.
Mrs. Danvers is very creepy, showing up at the oddest of times.
du Maurier’s description of Mrs. Danvers is enough to scare the hell out of me.
The newest Mrs. de Winter soon feels that Maxim doesn’t truly love her, as she firmly believes he is obsessed with the deceased Rebecca, who holds power over Mr. and Mrs. de Winter’s relationship from beyond her watery grave.
After much heartache and humiliation, Mrs. de Winter ultimately wins Maxim’s love and trust upon their becoming forever bound by a secret that comes to light months after the marriage.
The only thing I will say bothered me about this book, and it’s most likely because of the time in which it was written, but there is a minor character, Ben, who is described as a ‘half-wit’ and other derogatory terms.
Normally, I could overlook details like that description, but since my brother is autistic, I am especially sensitive to material regarding the mentally challenged.
However, Rebecca gets a resounding five stars for its amazing story and character development.
I cannot wait to watch Hitchcock’s take on the novel!