Rebecca, written by Daphne du Maurier

Reviewed by Lisa

Daphne du Maurier wrote fourteen novels, nearly all bestsellers. Her books have translated well to the cinema. She died in 1989 at her home in Cornwall. Margaret Forster wrote in a tribute to her, "No other popular novelist has so triumphantly defied classification as Daphne du Maurier. She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction and yet satisfied too the exacting requirements of ‘real literature', something very few novelists ever do."

I try to pick up a "classic" every few months. Sometimes I'm left wondering how the book ever became a classic--not this time. I found the relationship between Maxim de Winter and the second Mrs de Winter fascinating. Both Mrs. Danvers and Rebecca de Winter are incredible characters. By the time I got to the last third of the book, I couldn't put it down, even though I had seen the movie and knew how the story would end.

Type: Fiction Classic , 416 pages, paperback

Synopsis:
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." So begins the classic Rebecca, the unsurpassed modern masterpiece of romantic suspense -- one of the bestselling novels of all time! And so begins the remembrances of the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter, as she recalls the events that led her to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast.With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca -- dead, but never forgotten; her suite of rooms never touched; her clothes still ready to be worn; and her servant, the sinister Mrs. Danvers, still royal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca -- and for the secrets of Manderley.
Reviews:
From Barnes & Noble…It's no wonder that the woman who becomes the second Mrs. de Winter (whose first name we never learn) eagerly accepts Maxim de Winter's offer of matrimony. She's young, orphaned, and employed as companion to a mean-spirited fading beauty. The handsome widower simply sweeps her off her feet. In a matter of days, the new bride accompanies her seemingly devoted husband to Manderley, his isolated home on the Cornish coast. From the first, the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, frightens the new bride with her chilling devotion to the dead first Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca. And, all to soon, the second Mrs. de Winter realizes that Maxim married her for her youth and warmth, hoping to use her as a shield against Rebecca's malignant presence -- a lingering evil that threatens to destroy them both from beyond the grave.

First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling read that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.

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