Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rebecca” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  217,286 ratings  ·  9,804 reviews
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...

Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamourous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley...more
Paperback, 441 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Virago Press (UK) (first published 1938)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee1984 by George OrwellThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Best Books of the 20th Century
60th out of 5,822 books — 39,059 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
4th out of 4,430 books — 10,140 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is it. THE delicious, curl up next to the fire under a blanket with tea book. THE windowsill on a rainy day with your pet book. THE stay up all night book. A chill goes down your spine (but in a good way!) while reading it. It is a masterpiece of gothic literature, the inheritor of the tradition of novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. I'd call it the 20th Century Jane Eyre, actually, with a modernist twist. It is written so that the characters and events come to seem quite believabl...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again".

This is one of the more famous lines in literature certainly it belongs in the same conversation as Call me Ishmael. Even to people who have never read the book or seen the excellent movie by Alfred Hitchcock might have a glimmer of recognition at the mention of a place called Manderley. Daphne du Maurier leased a place called Menabilly which became the basis for the fictional Manderley. Aren’t we glad she changed the name? Just say Manderley a few...more
Arlene Sanders

REBECCA is my favorite book of all time -- bar none.

The opening line is famous, but I didn’t know that the first time I read it (I was about 14). I just remember that the magic began with that first line:

Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderly again....

The girl is young, clumsy, exquisitely sensitive. Impoverished and alone after her father’s death, she was employed by a wealthy and boorish social climber, Mrs. Van Hopper, and made her living as the older woman’s companion.

Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
Well…this is awkward.

So, most of my friends love this book. Naturally, I wanted to as well. I blame the herd mentality.


Did I love this book? At times, yes. Did I also loathe this book? At times, yes. It’s made deciding on a rating a much more daunting task than I normally face. After reflecting on it for some time, and re-reading my f-bomb laden notes, I’m going with two stars, because as a whole, I did not enjoy this.

While I greatly detested some aspects, I can still recognize gorgeou...more
Jul 31, 2011 Lora rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classics from the early - mid 20th century
Recommended to Lora by: Arlene, Wendy, my love for all things Gothic and romantic
Rebecca is a classic tale that weaves mystery, secrets, and romance into an intricate and stunning twine. It tells the story of a young girl who is swept off her feet by a much older man with money and possessions aplenty — and even more heartache in his recent past.
Since his wife's tragic death eight months ago, Maxim de Winter has been doing everything he can to forget the horrific part of his past that has left him feeling bereft of happiness and aloof from others.
But even with this kind of...more
"I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
Rebecca is the story of a young woman (her first name is never given) who marries wealthy Maxim de Winter, mostly to escape her life as a companion to a rich American woman. She moves with her new husband to his estate, Manderly, where she learns about her husband's previous wife, Rebecca. Although Rebecca drowned in the ocean near the house over a year ago, the house is still full of her prescence. Her old room is cleaned daily, and is left exactly the way i...more
May 10, 2010 Tatiana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of classics
Recommended to Tatiana by: Hannahr, Ryan
Books like Rebecca remind me from time to time what quality literature really is. Sometimes I forget, buried under stacks of entertaining but often poorly written popular fiction.

At first, Rebecca is very reminiscent of another favorite book of mine - Jane Eyre. The main character is a young, innocent, poor girl who falls in love with a rich older man. The happiness is so near, but the shadow of the man's first wife stands in the way of it. A family secret, a haunted mansion, a deranged servant...more
 photo re2_zpscac351f9.jpg
Last night I DIDN'T dream of Manderley which was immensely disappointing; but I did dream of adopting a cocker spaniel with silken ears and named it Jasper. Daphne du Maurier was masterful in creating and holding suspense for most of this book which I'm sure is not an easy thing to do. The moment I was introduced to the soaring majesty of Manderley I was hooked. The narrative took a hold of me and invaded my mind with a subjugating sense of mystery. The nameless protagonist was subjected to all...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I first read this novel approximately forty years ago, when I was a teenager. I have an enduring memory of walking around my home, nose firmly in the book, unable to put it down. Yesterday, listening to the concluding chapters of the audiobook, I had the same experience. I could not stop listening until it was over.

When I was a teenager, what captivated me most about Rebecca was the plot: the relationship between the unnamed narrator and Maxim de Winter, the machinations of Mrs Danvers, the mys...more
Jan 24, 2014 Valerie marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
It was quite a painful book and not really in a good way. The protagonist is so insecure. How can someone walk around feeling so...desperate, depressed, and doubtful about everything? It was depressing. I could not finish it.

It's not necessarily a bad book; I just couldn't stand how uncomfortable she felt all the time. It's like those people who had to do presentations in class that looked so flustered you felt bad for them and watching them was just out right painful. That was like this book f...more
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
The author’s dark twist of mystery & suspense adds depth & substance to what is really just a rehash of the classic Cinderella story. I was immediately hooked by the opening line "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" then swept into one of the most enchanting descriptive passages I’ve ever read, a dream-walk through the manor’s overgrown and abandoned garden. “The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another; their branches intermingled in a strange embrace. A lil...more
"Sometimes I wonder if she comes back here to Manderley and watches you and Mr de Winter together..."

Holy moly. Where to start?
Well, it's probably best to point out that Rebecca is the best book to read on a dark, murky dismal day in a room with a roaring open fire and a sheepskin rug with pictures of long dead relatives lining the walls. However, due to unforseen circumstances (I unable to move to a secluded mansion in the South with open roaring fire and pics of dead family members)...more
Duchess Nicole

Dark, Gothic, can say all of this about Rebecca, but I have to say that none of these really does the book justice.

Yes, it's got some dark to it. It's a story of the second wife...the young and naive bride of the rich, powerful Maximus deWinter. A tragic hero whose first wife died a bit less than a year ago. Maxim seems in turns devastated, angry, and confused about Rebecca. And in turn, our heroine...whom we never do learn the name of...what's up with that? My GR friend Cathy...more
This book has immediately become one of my favorites. Manderley stands out like a main character in this novel with sights, sounds, and smells so richly described. The unnamed narrator often finds herself daydreaming, imagining hypothetical situations playing themselves out in her head, which is really intriguing. But mostly, it is the crafting of suspense throughout the story that is most impressive—it was as though I were hanging on every word until the very last sentence. A masterful novel in...more
Wendy Darling
Still my favorite gothic novel of all time. A troubled love interest, an unwelcoming housekeeper, a house haunted by the memories of its previous mistress, and a young girl who is ill-equipped to handle everything...all the elements for a wildly mysterious and romantic story that is unforgettably and beautifully written.
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

This beautiful first line is instantly recognisable, and has passed into our culture. Like all great openings it captures our imagination and makes us want to read more. The rhythm is insistent, the mention of dreams intrigues us and the word "Manderley" echoes somewhere in our subconscious. We are already in danger of falling under Daphne Du Maurier's hypnotic spell.

Generally regarded as Daphne du Maurier's masterpiece, "Rebecca" has never been o...more
I’ve always been fond of stories about girls lifting themselves up by their bootstraps: girls who have meager beginnings and no expectations, girls born into poverty, orphan girls, slave girls, girls who have a fire inside, a completely consuming drive to succeed.

This is the most twisted, perverted version of that story I’ve ever read.

Our narrator is a nameless, spineless, child-like girl who vacillates between rosy colored visions of her future, and harsh self-flagellation. She makes wild and n...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After 5+ re-reads since my distant teen years, this book still has the power to mesmerize me.

Definitely one of the best character studies I've ever read, and after having recently read a biography of du Maurier, I am convinced that she poured much of her own personality and insecurities into the unnamed second Mrs. de Winter. There's no denying the poignant truth of her observations on inadequacy and powerlessness. It's so realistic it hurts to read it at times throughout the story.

Another trium...more
Initial reaction: I loved this book even years after reading it for the first time. I think Daphne du Maurier had such a strong construction with respect to the characters, sense of place, foreboding atmosphere, and symbolic texture of this entire narrative. Beautifully written.

Full review:

"They make fools of us together
But we always think of them
All their laughing and their talking and their wasting of our time
And it always hurts to see them now
That everything is different
We don't like to see t
Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
The word overrated comes to mind.

I'm not going to take away any bit of credit from Anna Massey. Her audiobook narration was stellar, but after awhile, the utterly shitty lifeless writing started to bleed through and, by the end, I couldn't wait for it to be over. Or, rather, I alternated between sporfles and eyerolls every time one of Daphne's stylistic quirks appeared. Which was often.

"But, Karla," you said, "this is a classic! A 20th century literary treasure!"

"Yes," I said. "Yes."

"I've read t...more
Somehow along the way growing up, I missed out on reading Rebecca. Now so many years older than when I read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, or other novels that might be considered kin (and to which for a time I was addicted), I have just finished reading Rebecca for the very first time. You would think that as a result I might not love it. Might be less impressed, less enthralled, less smitten. But you would be wrong.

It's true. I love this novel. Isn't a novel by defini...more
K.D. Absolutely
Definitely unforgettable. Not only in the way Du Maurier's incandescent prose mesmerized me from start to finish but also the level where the conflict mostly lies: in the mind of the narrator. This is unlike most of the mystery-suspense novels that I so far read which mostly tell the story on the superficial or outside the mind of the narrator. Rebecca surprised me by its depth of understanding the psychology of mind, and its ability to haunt itself.

Du Maurier is a stylish storyteller. The use...more
Jun 16, 2007 Alison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you haven't read this book, curl up by the fire with a hot cup of tea and get started right away!
I love this book. It's not entirely perfect, but still deserving of five stars (which, for the record, just means "it's amazing").

What's so good about it? The beautiful descriptive writing, the nightmarish, dream tinted atmosphere, the complexity of the life at Manderly involving the well-planned out and delicious sounding meals (and teas, and the ball), the routine and order of the servants, the cars, the descriptions of each sight and smell of the flowers and the sea. The characters are intere...more

I was actually pretty skeptical going into this book. I've heard so many people compare this to Jane Eyreand I didn't believe that anyone could ever do justice to it.I read past the famous opening line:

Last Night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

I was hooked.

I admire du Maurier. She had the balls to take elements from such an iconic piece of literature--gothic mansion, young bride, Byronic hero,-- and she makes it her own. Let's start with our unnamed narrator, the second Mrs.Max de Winter; n...more
Upon finishing my re-read of Rebecca, my initial thought was, "Why wasn't this a favorite of mine before????" This is only the second or third time I've ever re-read a book, and I'm so, so glad I re-read this one. It's now in my top ten, maybe even top five, of all-time favorite novels.

I originally read this classic when I was fourteen, and going into my freshman year of high school, for my honors English course. It seems as though I did thoroughly enjoy this book then, but never had the full a...more
I was expecting a classic. Err, that came out wrong. I meant to say that I was surprised to learn the book was published as recently as the 1930s. I would have thought to achieve the extreme reverence given this book that there was a maturation period of at least a hundred years. In fact, as I was reading the book, I kept envisioning an older setting than its actual 1920s. I was jarred out of my anachronism anytime a character fumbled for a light switch or came around the bend in a car.

Having s...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Moonstone
  • The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
  • Cold Comfort Farm
  • Dragonwyck
  • Shirley
  • Nine Coaches Waiting
  • Sunset Song
  • The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate
  • Middlemarch
  • The Wings of the Dove
  • The Italian
  • The Collector
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #12)
  • South Riding
  • The Monk
  • Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles that of a fairy tale. Born int...more
More about Daphne du Maurier...
Jamaica Inn My Cousin Rachel Frenchman's Creek The House on the Strand The Birds and Other Stories

Share This Book

113 trivia questions
5 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” 1315 likes
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” 972 likes
More quotes…