Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

The new Mrs. Max De Winter (who shall remain nameless) can't wait to begin her life as a young bride and newcomer to the renowned Manderley mansion on the Cornish coast.  When she arrives she is put off by the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who is still devoted to Max's deceased first wife, Rebecca.

If you visit the mansion of Manderley you will not find Rebecca there.  You will find her spirit as she roams the hall and haunts the walls.  The second Mrs. De Winter walks in Rebecca's shadow as she gets to know her husband and her surroundings.  Rebecca and Mrs. De Winter are opposites, one shy and quiet, the other talkative and vivacious.  Of course, the current wife feels she pales in comparison to the first.  Evil is lurking in unexpected places as the house tries to keep its secrets and Mrs. De Winter is being pushed to her limit.

 Reading Rebecca for the first time is a unique and satisfying experience.  The reader reaches a point in the book of shocked contentment and the book becomes an unstoppable page turner where you just aren't sure what will happen next.  De Maurier does an excellent job of setting up the mystery, the suspense and the romance and when combined with a house that is a formidable character and with the nervousness of the nameless narrator, you have a winning combination.  Rebecca will make the reader want to stay up all night reading under a blanket, holding a flashlight.

Rebecca is a timeless Gothic masterpiece.  From the first famous sentence, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.", to its last, Rebecca is unforgettable.  A book to read again and again.