Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding ...
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
So easily was I sucked into the deep and mesmerizing world of Rebecca's, the one she left behind before her death. The one that continues revolving without her -- yet always with her.
The story, in fact, is not about Rebecca at all -- yet it is consumed with the enigma of her. The story, in fact, is about a lady's maid residing in Monto Carlo, who is swept off her feet by one Maxim de Winter, swiftly becoming his second wife. And at that point, the new (and now rich) Mrs. de Winter's problems ensue. As she begins to settle into her husband's beautiful English estate, the one called Manderley, she soon realizes that she does not truly retain her husband's attention, manage the household staff, or even receive due favor from the house pets. They all still cling to Rebecca and her remarkable ways.
All along, the absence of Rebecca haunts the new Mrs. de Winter. Clues to the previous Mrs. de Winter's life exist all around Manderley -- such as in Maxim's thoughts and in the devious housekeeper's actions. It seems that the young bride cannot escape the mortality of the woman who preceded her place. Rebecca casts shadows upon each of the new Mrs. Maxim de Winter's steps.
My thoughts? In short, 'Rebecca' is fascinating. It kept me held in place, waiting with baited breath to see how this story could possibly turn out -- especially in a satisfactory way. Does it end well? How can it?
I think one day I shall have to re-read this vintage classic. Not just to relish again in the labyrinth of plot manipulation, but... to see in a decade or so how I feel about the story in general and the characters. Will it still feel cold, yet classy? Seeing the coming twists, will I internally mourn when the final cause of death is revealed? Mrs. Danvers, I wonder, will she still seem so sinister after I have had more life experience? And the new Mrs. de Winter -- will I still see so much of me in her that it brings me pain to see her suffer so?
The title of 'Rebecca' is the epitome of fine elegance and fatal intrigue. Considered a gothic novel due to the morbid turn of events, it was published in 1938 and won the National Book Award for favorite novel of that same year.
I listened to this title as an audiobook -- Anna Massey's (Hachette Audio) verbal nuances and character tones are spot on. If you like audiobooks, this is a great one to listen to. (But if you prefer reading in book form, please go right ahead.)
It's an amazing read -- one to send you reeling for many a day.
Apr 25, 2013
Received the book quickly and was in better shape than describe. I am very pleased with this order
Apr 7, 2013
Almost too close to home
Wonderfully written and terribly encapsulating, Rebecca is an enjoyable read that may cause the reader distress due to the in depth narration of the main character's awkwardness. If you are of a self conscious persuasion, by all means read it, but be aware that it may provoke some soul-searching.
Jul 29, 2010
Book for HS English class
My daughter had to read this for her advanced English class. I was glad I could buy it here.
Oct 1, 2009
Be swept away to Manderley into a brilliant mystery. The main character, with an unknown name, rises to the challenge of Rebecca's ghostly memory. Can she break Rebecca's influence on Manderley and the inhabitants of this "fairyland"? I highly recommend this mystery to everyone who wants to spirit to another world. This is my favorite novel.
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