Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier (1938) 


Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Rebecca has never been out of print since its publication in 1938, and upon reading it, it is easy to understand it’s longevity. The novel covers the seemingly innocuous marriage between the unnamed narrator and Maxim De Winter. The narrator becomes the 2nd Mrs. De Winter, moving into Manderley, the seaside estate Where Maxim had lived with his first wife, Rebecca. The story follows the narrators self-conscious fears that she shall never live up to the late Rebecca. These fears are encouraged by the manipulative and obsessed housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who hates the idea of anyone taking the place of her beloved Rebecca. The narrator fears that her husband would never love her, as she could never be as perfect as Rebecca seemed. Throughout, there runs a mystery about Rebecca and her life at Manderley. du Maurier’s work is spellbinding, as the romance, the crime and the mysteries unfold at length, keeping the reader enthralled to the last. A novel of society and lies and privilege, du Maurier’s choice to leave the narrator nameless allows one to feel as though they are in the wretched and uncomfortable position of the scared 2nd Mrs. De Winter. 416 pages

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