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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. . . With these words the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room in the immense, foreboding estate were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten -- a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. And with an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife -- the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

Customer Reviews:

  • Ok, but not recommended. This was not a typical romance novel with the development of a relationship and a happy ending.
    I felt sad at the end, even though it was an ok ending for the couple. However, the ending was vague and even the epilogue left some questions unanswered. I don't like unknown, vague endings. There were some interesting ideas and two plot twists, but I didn't enjoy the book enough to recommend it. I wanted it to be over. The author spends a lot of time describing flowers and details. The heroine was never given a name, I will call her "H." A lot of time is spent in H's mind, discussing things she was timid and fearful about and she imagined conversations that other people were having about her.

    CAUTION SPOILERS: I have never imagined anyone being as timid, fearful and nervous as H. She would hide from the domestic staff and wanted to avoid speaking to them. A guest would come and she hid behind a door so he might leave before speaking to her. She had no desire to learn anything or improve herself. After the crisis was resolved, H desired to change and learn things, but the epilogue showed she changed enough to care for Max, but nothing else. The couple just seemed to quietly float through the rest of their life together. She didn't change. One of the more interesting parts of the book was the evil of both Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers, who was in charge of the household help.

    Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: none. Setting: mid 1920s England. Copyright: 1938. Genre: historical romantic suspense and mystery....more info
  • simply the best
    If you have never read Du Maurier's classic, you must. This book is one of my all time favorite novels and has everything a good novel should have...suspense, mystery, romance and the most colorful characters you will ever find. The first time I read the book, I couldn't put it down. And the second time, the same thing happened...even when I knew the ending!! I can certainly understand why this book propelled Du Maurier to author stardom. It should be on everyone's bucket list of books....more info
  • I don't understand the appeal of this novel-the writing was good but I just didn't get the plot. Does this make me stupid?
    "Rebecca" has been on my to read list for years-literally. There was always something to get to first but recently I was in need of something absorbing and after I had read the first few pages it was apparent the lulling/draw you in writing style of Daphne Du Maurier fit the bill.

    To be honest I have no clue how to review a classic novel that has been reviewer countless times before my people much more qualified than I. So I'll be brief and base this on personal tastes only. I did enjoy this book but I have to say that all the hype about the incredible suspense of the novel seems a little unwarranted. To tell the truth I feel like I read another book altogether then what everyone else described. Especially when the ending of the novel is factored in.

    I loved the writing style, the language the author used and the descriptions. But I just didn't get the plot and to be honest I feel a little stupid about it. Does anyone want to explain it to me?

    Three stars. But because I did like the over all writing maybe I'll try another of Du Maurier's books.
    ...more info
  • Great suspense novel
    Warning: spoiler

    A fantastic novel, that deserves a place next to "Wuthering Hights", "Great Expectations" or "Jane Eyre". Daphne Dumaurier's beautiful and rich writing style and amazing storytelling skills make this novel great fun to read. She handles the character development wonderfully well, in particular the overly sensitive and devoted heroine, the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, the despicable playboy Favell, and the gloomy and jaded Max de Winter.

    The novel works on many levels. There are some elements of the old fairy-tales Cinderella (servant-girl marries nobleman) and Bluebeard (forbidden room, murderous husband), but with a different, surprising twist. It's also a story of growing-up, as the nameless heroine matures from a timid girl into a strong-willed woman during her various trials. The author brilliantly disguises the characters' motivations, so that the true causes of things remain a mystery until about two-thirds into the novel when the main crisis unfolds. We then realise that the heroine, who sees things through the lens of her own feelings of inferiority completely misses the truth, which is to her a shock and relief at the same time.

    Not least, the lush, rich descriptions of the house and the surrounding Cornwell country-side, and linking of the natural elements with the mood of the story makes this novel a truly satisfying reading experience. You may not want to read another novel for a long time.

    Also of interest to readers would be Alfred Hitchcock's film Rebecca, which faithfully recreates the novel, with an outstanding cast....more info
  • For all the shy people out there...
    I'm a shy girl myself, so I really felt like I could relate to the main character of the book. I could understand the paranoia she felt, her over-sensitivity of what others thought of her, and her feelings of not fitting in. I believe the major points to the story was was to show how the main character finally gains complete confidence in herself and confidence in her husband's love for her.

    One of the most memorable quotes is when the main character realizes how foolish her fear of people was:
    "I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth."

    To tell the truth, it was hard for me to get past the first chapter or so, but once you finally get to the main story it becomes much more interesting. Right when I finished the book, I actually went back and read the first chapter and finally understood how it all came together....more info
  • One of the best!
    Honestly, I wish they'd replace Jane Eyre with this book as required reading in high school! Rebecca is a gothic novel, somewhat reminescent of Jane Eyre. Rebecca starts out a bit slow but quickly picks up the pace. Du Maurier (in my eyes) is the queen of description and suspense. Some of her descriptions of Manderley gave me downright chills. You feel as if you're right there with the un-named protagonist in the stunning estate that is Manderley. Manderley almost becomes a character in its own right. Du Maurier created characters you both love and hate and almost all characters are hiding something. This book will keep you up til late biting your nails! It's one of my favorite books of all time....more info
  • Struggling in Manderley
    "Rebecca, always Rebecca." Everyone is obsessed with Rebecca. Thinking about the beautiful, the charming, the everybody-loves-her Rebecca.
    But Rebecca, dear readers, is dead.
    Manderley, her home, is dead, a ruin, a burnt-out shell. From the very first, "Manderley was no more."
    Rebecca's widowered husband, Maxim de Winter, the rich heir and owner of the Manderley estate, has remarried the very young, inexperienced, second Mrs. de Winter. She is the teller of the story. Of their meeting and marriage, their return to the estate, the difficulties between themselves and with the staff and community, and the dangerous unraveling of the mystery of Rebecca's death.
    The effects are riveting and harrowing. If you read the book years ago, read it again. You'll marvel even more than before at the details of the telling.
    ...more info
  • Deeply Intriguing
    Rebecca / 0-380-77855-6

    Not your typical romance novel, Rebecca has much more a feel of a mystery novel, with the heroine often on the tip of discovering some terrible and horrible secret. Du Marier's writing takes sudden hold of the reader, and carefully maintains the central conceit of the novel - that Maxim's idea of Rebecca contrasts sharply with the narrator's conceptualization of Maxim's idea of Rebecca. She also carefully utilizes secondary characters, providing valuable allies and frightening enemies as the narrator steps carefully along, wondering just labyrinthine mystery she has become a part of.

    Especially fitting is Du Marier's choice to strip the narrator of a name, she has no identity in her own world, she is merely Rebecca's successor, for better or worse. Allies, friends, enemies, and relatives cannot see her, they can only judge the difference between her and Rebecca. And, though we might wish otherwise, the narrator eventually internalizes this attitude and sees herself only as 'Not-Rebecca'. In this way, the novel is a caution of sorts - a warning against surrendering a definite self-image to a constantly shifting self-judgment. Even the ending is bittersweet - the duo has freed themselves from the specter of Rebecca, but it is unclear whether something more substantial has taken her place (love? purpose?) or whether there is simply the vacancy, the place where Rebecca used to be and which is now empty....more info
  • Once you're into it you're hooked
    Rebecca is a chilling book that follows the life of the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter and her experiences trying to outlive the ghost of her predecessor, Rebecca. She meets Maxim while serving in the employ of a Mrs. Van Hopper--a rude American who hires the narrator to be a companion. She hates Mrs. Van Hopper but doesn't see much other option for herself since her parents died and left her penniless.

    Upon Mrs. Van Hopper becoming ill, the narrator and Mr. de Winter strike up a friendship that turns into something more and eventually marry. It's upon the return to Mr. de Winter's estate, Manderley, that things start to get interesting and complicated for the narrator. We follow along as she deals with family, the servants and former friends, and attempts to make a happy life for herself and Maxim. The mysterious death of Rebecca haunts the main character though she can't quit pinpoint why, and we follow her through her daily routine until she discovers what happened and why it's important to her.

    I found the book tedious at points. The writing is very tightly wound up in the narrator's mind and we follow her thoughts through several permutations of "what could have happened" or "what might be happening" or "what other people are currently thinking about her", etc. I never felt like putting the book aside, however, but I did find it difficult to get into in the beginning. And it isn't until around p. 200 (in my edition) that it becomes gripping...and the book is indeed gripping, and I finished the last 200pp in an evening and the following afternoon.

    ...more info
  • Loved it, Loved it, Loved it
    Once in awhile we have to do a throwback to a novel not of this century. Yes, we have to. But that's OK because this one is about one of my all time favorites: Rebecca by Daphne Du Marurier (1938). It is the only book I have ever stayed up all night to finish just because I had to know what happened. Since then I have read it several more times but this time managing to get some sleep in.

    Rebecca was inspired by Jane Eyre, written by Du Marurier in Cairo, Egypt while her husband was stationed there. This British author's bestseller was a surprising success and spawned several films, television shows, and other novels. However, as we all know, are almost never as good as the book, particularly since when the first film was made in 1940 and was required under Hollywood Production Code to change the ending in order to be shown. (Warning: Reading the Wikipedia entry will spoil it!)

    Since a big part of enjoying this novel is staying wrapped up in the mystery and suspense created, I won't comment on anything that might give that away. The basic premise is a young lady while working as a traveling companion for a wealthy widowed woman meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome gentleman who makes her his bride and takes her back to his estate, Manderley. The young lady is mousy and unsure, struggling at times with why such a man as Maxim would want someone such as herself for a wife. While the reasons become more and more clear as the novel progresses, the couple can never escape the presence of Rebecca, Maxim's first and deceased wife.
    Once at Manderley, the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers makes her appearance and continues to haunt, cause trouble and general nastiness to the young lady, as she was fond of Rebecca and refuses to accept her death. Mrs. Danvers earns her place in villainess history along side the Nurse Ratchets, Cruella de Villes and White Queens. She'll give you the chills as she sweeps along the long creaking halls of Manderley.

    The story is told entirely from the young lady's point of view, starting a little slow, but really picking up speed mid-way through the story as the intensity in which Rebecca penetrates their lives (with the help of Mrs. Danvers) from beyond the grave. Once I hit the last third, it became a novel that could not be put down as the mysteries begin to unravel.

    Because of the age of this novel there have been lots of printings, you could pick this one up at the library, used bookstore or chances are, borrow it from a friend, making it even that more attractive to pick up and give a try. This novel appeals more to women than men, I did get a male friend to give it a try, he liked it, but also referred to it as a very "feminine" story....more info
  • Classic Murder Mystery
    It was good but some parts were slow and sometimes the main characters shyness got annoying. Other then that, it was very good. I would recommend it if you are a fan of gothic romances like Jane Eyre....more info
  • Details, details, details
    It's been called a mystery, a romance, a Gothic novel, been labeled the best novel of the century, criticized as intensely boring and slow, praised as a real page turner. To some degree it all seems correct, all of those elements being presented by Dame du Maurier in her famous novel.

    But I say that the only thing that kept me going through the first half of Rebecca was that famous opening line: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Simply wondering why she was no longer at Manderley, what drove and kept her away, was enough motivation to get through some very, very slow and tedious narrative.

    I'm all for good descriptions of settings and character development, and in this book the estate Manderley is both of those, the setting and a crucial character. But in literature there's a spectrum of development, from inadequate to just the right amount and on to excessive - development overkill, if you will. Rebecca suffered, I think, some level of development overkill, and the details, excessive as they were, almost killed the story for me. I thought I was in trouble by page 10 when I could barely concentrate enough through the very detailed descriptions of the Manderley countryside and such things. Descriptions of the plants and the grounds and the woods and the animals, etc., etc. And those same descriptions had a very frequent (and unneeded) reoccurence. In short, many portions seemed overwritten and too detailed to the point of distracting from the story.

    But I read on. By page 50 I was wondering when something would happen, a break in the story to motivate the reader with some intrigue. Nothing. Page 100, still nothing to grip me. Fifty more pages, nada. On to page 200, and by now I've been slowly, very slowly, plodding my way through this story for a month. There was still nothing to compel me to turn pages; thus the book sat unread for many days at a time. There was a conversation around page 130 that I thought might lead to some excitement, but then nothing. Though one success by this point in the story, it's been made painfully clear to the reader that the unnamed Mrs. de Winter the Second is diffident, shy and weak, and that she lives in the shadow of and is haunted by the memory of the dead Rebecca. In fact, I think the diffidence of the young Mrs. de Winter is one area where Dame Du Maurier succeeded in her excessive character development; the young wife easily brings disrespect on herself by the reader because of her lack of self-worth and confidence.

    Finally, at about page 220, finally the story broke open. Finally I had reached a point that compelled me to keep reading. Finally, a story that moved quickly and was really a very, very good and well written climax. It became a five-star story from that point on, having elevated itself from a tedious, boring two stars.

    I also really liked the epilogue, the addition made by Dame Du Maurier later. Thought it brought the story around to a good conclusion for the reader. So in the end, while I think the overall writing was too detailed and to some degree overwritten, I did find entertainment in the story's culmination....more info
  • "Have you ever thought about the future?"
    How about that for a chat-up line?
    When someone told me they called their daughter 'Rebecca' for the character in this novel, my curiosity was raised. It is beautiful. The story is of the mysterious and unsolved death of the first Mrs Maxim De Winter, Rebecca, and how her death is discovered, with far reaching consequences for an entire community. Mrs De Winter (the second one) got slightly on my nerves, but because she is so bland and neutral (and nameless!), she forms a perfect vehicle to narrate the story. Her gradual uncovering of the secret is our journey of discovery as readers. Her subsequent self-deception, however, does not fool the reader one bit.
    Of course this novel contains one of the most famous opening lines in literature: 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again'.
    Beware: if you don't like detailed and moody description, this is not the novel for you....more info
  • Great Book
    A must-read. Make sure you have nothing else to do because Rebecca is hard to put down....more info
  • Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderley again...
    Rebecca is a book narrated by a girl just barely out of her teenage years. In spite of that, it's a book for adults, too. The poor Mrs. De Winter is thrown into a whirlwind of society and class with which she's completely unfamiliar. She's suddenly expected to be beautiful, classy, and clever right off the bat. Du Maurier excellently portrayed Mrs. De Winter's thoughts throughout the novel. Even though they never mentioned her first name, Du Maurier still was able to sculpt the heroine into a lovely character.

    I never once had to force myself to read this book. The suspense to see what would happen next had me reading whenever I could pick up the book. Just when I thought things were settling down, some new twist would have me reading with my nose practically touching the paper. I couldn't set it down!

    The characters were anything but black and white. They were more detailed then any non-biography books I've read. Sometimes, I'd be turned around and be irritated with the protagonists and sympathizing with the villains. The villains were well developed as well, not just the normal brute force `I kill you now', but they're sly and deceitful, and you can never see their next blow until it was too late.

    Now that I've praised the characters completely, I actually do have one critical thing to say about Mrs. De Winter. It annoyed me that she was so groveling. She just allowed everyone to walk all over her, and she didn't say a word about it. It would've been nice for her to have been able to stand up to someone at least once before the climax.

    But that didn't detract severely from Rebecca. There were more than enough things to make up for it, and it was a good read anyway. I recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike....more info
  • Psychologically spooky
    Here we are, romance and psychological terror at its best, all under the guise of a peaceful British manor.

    At first appearance it is a classic Cinderella story: a poor girl meets a handsome, rich, and mysterious man during vacation. After their brief courtship, he marries her and takes her away to the idealistic world of Manderly.

    But all is not well between the lovebirds. There may be no ghosts, but the house is haunted by the memory of the first wife, Rebecca, and the loyalty of her servants.

    The mystery is grisley and intriguing, and the sweet romance keeps this going. Excellent, powerful description and a voice as insecure as they come. A great blend for a mystery that will stay with you after you have closed the book....more info
  • Suspenseful classic
    To give a synposis of this classic story would be repetitive. I will say I was suprised at how much I loved this book. I thought it would be good, but it turned out to be great. The story starts slowly, gradually building, until you just can't put it down. It is a mystery that turns itself on end. I don't want to give away the plot, but whatever twists and turns it takes, you still keep rooting for our shy little heroine.

    A previous reviewer commented on the abrupt ending. I thought it was perfect. Any more said would have overstated the obvious.

    I highly recommend reading this book. I think I will reread it. It is that good....more info
  • Good book-- bad ending
    I must say I enjoyed the book, but the ending was so sudden, with so many things left hanging, that I was disappointed. I wish one more chapter had been written to clear up- how did Manderly catch fire, what did they do when they got to the burning house, and how did they pick up their lives. All we had at the ending was ashes. Also, the narrator, who never gives her name, was sometimes very odd- hiding behind doors in her own home, sneaking food, hiding behind chairs. The book is worth reading, but I wish that, instead of spending so much time describing the trees and the sea, Du Maurier had written a better ending. ...more info
  • A true classic
    I thought I would hate this book. I'm so glad I was wrong.

    I had little choice in reading this book (I was overruled by the other
    members of my book club). I'm not generally a fan of gothic romances,
    and the first chapter or so of this book did nothing to change my
    preference. But before I realized it, I had devoured half the book.
    It was wonderful: the writing; the setting; the delightfully malicious
    Mrs. Danvers. Like the new Mrs. de Winter, I felt my own growing
    obsession to know the mystery of Rebecca.

    The second half the book is even better than the first. If you're
    anything like me, you'll want to read the first half all over again in
    light of the revelations learned from the second. A true classic...more info
  • "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
    The beginning of Rebecca starts out, with the heroine, who's name we never learn, describing a dream she had about her old estate called Manderley. Manderley is where she lived with her husband, Maxim de Winter. Who, years before had married the heroine, and they both moved into Manderley together. Not long after the heroine moved in, she finds out from Maxim's housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, that she is nothing like Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, who had died a few years ago. The mystery of Rebecca begins to unravel, when a boat is found at the bottom of the cove with Rebecca's body in the boat cabin.
    To me, Rebecca started out as more of a romance novel, and turns into a mystery novel towards the middle. It starts out in the present with the heroine describing her dream about visiting Manderley, but it switches to the past when Maxim de Winter and the heroine first meet at the hotel, Cote d'Azur in Monte Carlo. When Maxim de Winter explained to the heroine the truth behind the mystery of how Rebecca died, I was shocked. I had didn't expect that Maxim de Winter would murder his own wife. However, when Maxim explained to the heroine that he killed his wife, because of having an affair, possibly being pregnant, and for never having a loving or trusting marriage, I thought that his reasons were justified but still wrong.
    I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves romance and mystery novels. Rebecca is thrilling, mysterious, and confusing at some parts, but in the end it all comes together. I loved reading Rebecca; it's a real page-turner that you never want to stop reading. Out of the many books that I have read, Rebecca was one of the best books I have ever read in my life.
    ...more info
  • Rebecca
    One of my favorite books EVER!! This book truly does have a little bit of everything. The magic of this book for me is how so much of its story is really untold. The reader is forced to fill in the blanks, but in the end you know that you were right all along. How brilliant is it that the main character never utters a word, that Manderly is a main character itself, and yet another main character has no name at all? (Not to mention Mrs. Danvers, YIKES!! ) Please read this book!!!! For me this is one of those books that I can't see how EVERYONE doesn't love it!!!!...more info
    This book was very good.From the first page it grabs you, and never lets go.It was very suspenseful, it got me guessing so many times, but I was always wrong.If you are looking to read a good suspenseful book this is IT....more info
  • I Must Be Missing Something
    I read this book many years ago. I knew it was a "classic", but it always reminded me of Jane Eyre (as another reviewer said). I didn't care too much for old Jane either, but at least she had the guts to stick up for herself.

    The heroine (not deserving of a name)is 21 years old, but she keeps harping throughout how young she is. Twenty-one, especially back in those days, was not "young". At that age, most women were responsible and mature. Not this lady. She's a paid "companion" (go-for)to a bossy American woman, currently vacationing in Monte Carlo. The heroine is from England apparently, although never actually stated. Max de Winter shows up at their hotel, takes her out to sketch, she falls madly in love, he marries her, ignores her, and treats her like a child.

    When they go back to wonderful Manderley, his ancestral home, she's intimidated by the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who her husband allows to lord it over his wife.

    Rebecca, his first wife, died 10 months prior to their marriage (or was she found 10 months prior, and missing for 2 months before that?). Anyway, Miss 21 year old, creates MANY imaginary conversations - the servants, the neighbors, everyone is talking badly about her and comparing her unfavorably with Rebecca. She has a good imaginiation, but she wastes a lot of time. She lives in her own head a lot.

    She's crazy about her uncommunicative husband (well, he is all she has), and she does things like sketch, take the dog for walks, and have tea. The marriage seems totally chaste. Only towards the end of the book, does the author mention that the husband actually has a bed in the heroine's room (because he hadn't slept in it).

    She does show a lot of insight towards Maxim's grandmother - now that she is old,what is she thinking, feeling? How was it when she was young?

    There is plenty of description of the grounds surrounding Manderley, but the descriptions of the rooms in the house are confusing. I couldn't get a feel for how the house was set up. There is also no explanation as to why certain rooms (Rebecca's) are so great - just great wallpaper, hangings, and a gold bedspread. Yeah, I can see it.

    SPOILER: After all her meltdowns over Rebecca, Maxim finally admits he killed her because she said she was pregnant by someone else (he couldn't bear a scandal - no divorce - all the neighbors would talk!). He had planned to kill her anyway, since he took the gun down to her little cottage.

    Now why would anybody stay with a man like that? He can't control his temper, cares overly what other people think, and is not bothered by murdering his wife. That's just plain stupid. And dangerous. He might kill her next. She better watch out.

    As for the "ending", it's abrupt and unsatisfying.

    Like Jane Eyre, this novel has a heroine who is poor (although Jane had more skills). The hero has a wife who has some mental aberrations (in Rebecca's case, she's cruel). The mansion burns down, and they all live happily ever after. ...more info
  • Riveting Origins of the Rebecca Syndrome
    Much grace to the woman who loves a man who have loved enough before to pledge and vow himself to another. No wonder there is something that writer Susan Shapiro Barash calls the "Rebecca Syndrome" which got its name from this novel. A tale of suspense, love, pain, mystery, intrigue, and the machinations of plot that DuMaurier was known for. Read this and be swept away in the psychological stirrings and heart ache of a woman, a marriage, and a house where a man and a husband has less than a full heart to give back. Second wife ... second helpings ...second hand love ... no matter how much she loves him. The kind of haunt that is a phantom of a love triangle even in the physical presence of only two people. No .. you are not alone....more info
  • If you like JANE EYRE you will like REBECCA
    I always think of JANE EYRE and REBECCA together as they are so very similar in plot. Both have young, artistic, not conventionally pretty heroines who are totally alone in the world and fall madly in love with older mysterious wealthy men. Against all odds these men fall in love with our innocent heroines. And of course both novels feature beautiful dark women from the men's past who threaten to ruin our heroine's happiness. The hero's are both flawed because they have been abused by these horrid first wives. REBECCA is told in first person by our never named narrator (the heroine is NOT Rebecca) and has a mysterious quality throughout. It is more modern and less "preachy" than JANE EYRE. Many romantic suspense novels have tried to copy the gothic romance formula but none do it as well as Du Maurier in REBECCA or Charlotte Bronte in JANE EYRE. All book lovers who have not yet discovered the wonderful novel REBECCA should do themselves a favor and start reading it today!...more info
  • Audiobook 'Rebecca' Daphne du Maurier
    Rebecca is a beautiful novel containing intrigue, romance and the exquisite portrait of the wild and beautiful lands of Cornwall, it is beautifully read by and Anna Massey.

    Would certainly recommend this classic novel audio book.Rebecca...more info
  • The Presence of Rebecca
    It's all about Rebecca. She appears constantly in the mind of the main character telling the story, whose name you never learn, further burying her in the presence of Rebecca. The protagonist is a young woman who quite suddenly marries a man older than herself who was married once before. Maxim de Winter's previous wife, the last Mrs. de Winter, was Rebecca.

    Our young bride goes with Maxim to his great home, Manderly, which she loves, but it can not hide her from Rebecca's overwhelming presence. To her it seems Maxim is always thinking about Rebecca, whom everyone loved, who died in a boating accident just a year before. She feels herself being constantly compared to Rebecca; this is not what Rebecca would have done, Rebecca must have done it like this, Rebecca was taller, Rebecca was a social butterfly, Rebecca was very beautiful, Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca. She is 'nothing like Rebecca.'

    Having not been brought up in this type of life, she must get used to the grandness of Manderly. The servants, like one Mrs. Danvers who absolutely adored Rebecca; the people, who she must contact and talk to and who are constantly pressing her to hold the great dress ball of Manderly that Rebecca used to run; and the ocean, which stands as a constant reminder of Rebecca's tragic death, with its little boat-house that brings painful memories to Maxim.

    Although people must compare her to Rebecca, the poor girl makes it worse by exercising her very vivid imagination; putting words where none were said, and constantly imagining things that don't happen. She does not fit into this life, and Maxim isn't making it any easier. You feel very, very sad for her, as it seems it's quite impossible for her to be really happy.

    The quiet, depressing wave takes a turn when she makes up her mind to hold the dress ball. A cruel joke is played on her, and it seems she's at a worse position than before, but then something happens in the bay. Something is found, something to do with Rebecca, and you don't know what is going to happen to our little protagonist who may have her first chance at happiness.

    A very emotional and intriguing story, it goes rather calmly at first, then gives you a grand twist to end in a flourish. As you learn more and more about Rebecca, you start to wonder; about the presumptions the new bride makes about her, and the real character of Rebecca....more info