Wow. How have I not read this book before today? Why did I just let this book sit on my bookshelf gathering dust, whilst I took a chance and read 3 stars (or less) books instead? Doing the Gothic module at university has given me the opportunity to read so many amazing books and Rebecca is definitely one of them.
Working as a paid companion to a bitter elderly lady, the timid heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life is bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. Whisked from Monte Carlo to Manderley, Maxim’s isolated Cornish estate, the friendless young bride begins to realise she barely knows her husband at all. And in every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca.
Rebecca is the haunting story of a woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
Rebecca is this amazing, brilliantly written story about a woman who suffers from manic paranoia and lets it devour and conquer her whole life. The book starts off our nameless narrator reminiscing about her life at Manderley, and then the book continues on as normal, the narrator telling us what happened at Manderley and her relationship with Maxim de Winter.
“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”
― Daphne du Maurier,
We are thrown into a world full of mystery and intrigue, full of secrets that cloud Manderley and suffocate it. There was not once during my reading experience of Rebecca where I felt bored, or where I felt like I had better things to do with my time. It didn’t feel like I was reading a book for university, it didn’t feel like I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. Because, well… I didn’t. I HAD to read it, but it didn’t feel like a chore.
Daphne du Maurier works the reader like a puppet. From the very first step that our narrator takes into Manderley, du Maurier creates so much tension that I couldn’t help but skim read so I could get answers faster. (But then I realised that I couldn’t do that, so I had to go back and read properly).
The ending this book just had me going crazy… Our narrator makes decisions that I will never even begin to understand. Overall, this book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. It has love, obsession, dark secrets, and brilliant writing. This is a book that I will be definitely re-reading in the near future!
Actual rating is 4.5 stars but I rounded it down to 4 because the first little bit of the book dragged.