Daphne du Maurier
This was my classic for February and my buddy read with @book.lover.laura . I have not watched either of the movies yet.
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
“Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderley Again…”
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion 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 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. 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.
Rebecca turned out to be nothing like I was anticipating. For some reason, I thought this was a ghost story. I do recommend picking up this gothic novel blind.
I found Rebecca to be slow to initially pull me in. But once it did, I was hooked. Did I yell out loud when I was reading? Yes. This book definitely has some twists. There was also a villain that was so easy to passionately hate. I also found that the narrator was relatable, especially because she clearly had anxiety.
Initially, I only thought I really enjoyed it, but the more I thought about it and the more I loved it. It is one of those books that will stick with you.
Overall, Rebecca is a classic you do not want to miss, particularly if you like suspense or do not typically love classic literature. Both @book.lover.laura and I ended up loving it much more than we anticipated.
I do not however suggest that you buy the copy in my photo. There are a ton of typos and the print is difficult to read. It was clearly made as cheaply as possible. I am looking for one of the beautiful editions to add to my collection.
Mysteries & Thrillers
National Book Award for Fiction (1938)