-by Daphne du Maurier
416 pages (2001) Harper Paperbacks
originally published in 1938
MY RATING: 4.5/5
modern-day Jane Eyre
The house at the centre of Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca, opens with the famous lines: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me”. A fitting introduction to the spellbinding tale of intrigue, mystery and love.
At the outset of the novel Rebecca reflects on a dream she has had about Manderley estate, and as the story unfolds, she becomes the narrator of her story.
Simple, naive and young, Rebecca staying at a hotel with her employer, Mrs. Danvers, happens to meet the brooding handsome Maxim de Winter, a wealthy widower who is rumoured to have lost his first wife under mysterious circumstances. She ultimately becomes his second wife, and they moved to his estate at Manderley. As she settles into high society, she realizes how diffucult the adjustment is for her. Her relationship with Maxim becomes the object of rumours.
Mrs. Danvers, the mysterious and cruel housekeper.