Originally posted on my previous blog – this post has been edited for spelling mistakes/clarity
The unnamed narrator of Rebecca returns with her new husband, Maxim du Winter, to his home of Manderley where the legacy of his previous wife, Rebecca, still lingers especially through Manderley’s creepy housekeeper, Mrs Danvers. Maxim, however, changes from the bright, happy man she met in Monte Carlo to a dark, moody stranger. Soon, the heroine begins to uncover the secrets and covered up lies about Rebecca’s life, particularly the circumstances of her death as she compares herself increasingly to the other woman.
Rebecca is a novel that holds a lot of value for me, it’s stuck with me since I read it a few years ago, partly because of the novel’s name but also because I loved its writing and particularly the character of the unnamed narrator.
However, I started this book doubtful and after reading the start very slowly, I was starting to doubt my choice, because I was only reading ever so often over the space of a few weeks. My first impression was completely wrong.
This book gripped me once she goes to Manderley until its end. I was absorbed by the mystery of Manderley, Mrs Danvers, the heroine, Rebecca, Maxim – my, even the dog, Jasper has a little of mystery and past about him.There is plenty of lies, deceit and mystery to be getting on with in this book alone, leaving every chapter on an eerie, compelling note. I can see why this was made into a Hitchcock film, merely for that alone.
The characters, the writing, the mystery, the beautiful locations, the plot – This is the perfect book to wrap up in the winter in bed or by a fire on a snowy day and just simply read. These are characters you may grow to hate, yet I always found something in the story that made me feel for them in someway by the end. This book is about discovering yourself and how secrets and lies can cause the worst situations. Your first impressions, like mine of the book, will change for every single character.
Rebecca is a book that kept me up in the waking hours wanting to know why Maxim changed in his return to Manderley as well as many of the other mysteries throughout the book. There is not much else I can say that hasn’t been already said about this book since its release in 1938. A fact which I hope says why this is a great book, despite it being 74 years old is this: Rebecca has never gone out of print.
‘Last night I dreamt of Manderley’ – I think any reader will after reading this.
I give it 5 out of 5