Madeline's Reviews > Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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's review
Sep 09, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: the-list, all-time-favorites

"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 it was when Rebecca still lived there. Her servant, the creepy and completely evil Mrs. Danvers, is still loyal to Rebecca, and the new Mrs. de Winter finds herself being compared to Rebecca by everyone she encounters. Over the course of the story, the narrator begins to inquire into Rebecca's past with her husband in an attempt to discover how she was able to captivate everyone she knew. As the story progresses, Mrs. de Winter discovers that not everyone at Manderley has been completely honest with her, and Rebecca herself is at the heart of all these secrets.
I really liked this book. Its plot was similar to Jane Eyre, but unlike Bronte, du Maurier doesn't reveal her biggest plot twist three-quarters of the way through the story - in Rebecca, the surprises keep coming until literally the last page, making it a much more enjoyable read. I also enjoyed the main character - she's clumsy and not very confident, but there's strength at her core, and this fact placed me on her side, despite her very human imperfections.
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03/07/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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becky maxim's second wife is mentioned by name as "miss caroline de winter" as she appears in costume for the fancy dress ball (page 211 in my version).

Madeline Hm...I don't have my copy with me, so I can't check this, but I think Caroline was the name of the woman in the portrait that the narrator dressed up as, so she made sure she was announced as the person she was disguised as.

becky i think you are correct. that would make perfect sense.

Ally The Bright Young Things are reading Rebecca in November - why do you follow this link and join our debate...

Madeline Spammers to the left, plzthnx.

Rebekah her name is mentioned once in the book. It is Daphne, i'm assuming this was a nod to the author herself. Now try to find where it is in the book! A fun game, it took me till the third time reading it to find it!

Madeline Are you sure it wasn't just some character referring her as Daphne as a joke or something? Because the book is famous mainly for having an unnamed narrator, and I kind of doubt that du Maurier could just slip the main character's name into the text and only a few people would notice it.

Justin I think the character was called "Daphne" in the original manuscript, but ended up being unnamed in the final version.

Erin Caroline. Just once in the book to underscore how little she feels of herself, I assume.

Madeline See second comment.

message 11: by Pat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat Clarke No, the second Mrs. deWinter's name is not mentioned ever in the book. that is the point, she really doesn't have an identity, that is why the end is so more because I dont want to give anything away...the end is amazing

message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Thanks for clarifying that the narrator is unnamed. I am listening to it and can't page back. The lack of a name has been driving me batty. Now I can relax. I am completely enthralled.

message 13: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Having just listened to it, I can vouch for there never being a first name mentioned or even hinted at.

message 14: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin I'm currently rereading it, carefully, to see if I was mistaken. It does happen.

Madeline I think you're thinking of the ball scene, where the narrator dresses up as one of Maxim's ancestors - that woman's name was Caroline de Winter, which is why the narrator is announced by that name.

message 16: by Félix (new)

Félix Thanks for all the wonderful reviews, Madeline. Your mom is so proud of you. This I know for sure.

message 17: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn Madeline - I am so glad we do see eye to eye on this classic !!! I read this book in one sitting before I agreed to teach it to a ninth grade class for a teacher on leave having a baby. It was a stormy afternoon on a Satuday too !!! The setting was right in the writing and in my atmosphere. It actually scared me some . The students loved it and the film by Hitchcock we watched at the end of our reading . Now to me , Jane Eyre was just as strong and scary at times. There are other books by du Maurier that are quite good also. Some person tried to write a continuation of Rebecca years and years ago . My Mother bought the book for me . It was so terrible , but they gave it a try . They were trying to show a continuation of the strength in the character that replaced Rebecca and offered an explanation for Rebecca's actual reappearance . Strange and just could not make it work . A mystery , out of curiosity, always drives me to read . No matter how disappointed I know I might be, I still have to see if someone can pull off a fake of another author's perfection !

message 18: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Madeline wrote: "I think you're thinking of the ball scene, where the narrator dresses up as one of Maxim's ancestors - that woman's name was Caroline de Winter, which is why the narrator is announced by that name."
AH! Thanks!! That was confusing!

message 19: by Ana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ana Ruiz I also really appreciated how much the main character grew throughout the novel. It was a natural transition and very pleasant as a reader to see that, even if, in the end, she becomes the submissive wife of a murderer.

message 20: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca I haven't read this book yet. I don't know if I should get it, Would it be a good read? Please help. I think I would be thinking the whole entire time that Im reading the book(if I read it) I would be thinking of Milady De Winter from the Three Musketeers. I think that what her name was, some like that. Thank you for the advise!

Madeline I mean, I liked it.

message 22: by Ivy Bookqueen (new)

Ivy Bookqueen Great review

message 23: by Uli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Uli Vogel it was one of the few real books that my mother owned. I must have read it at a very young age, as I started foraging our shelves as soon as I could read. It reentered my life when i was studying linguistics and we were analyzing the textuality of the first few pages. I feel it's one of those novels that should be read aloud. It has an amazing rhythm and sound.

message 24: by Brody Taylor (new)

Brody Taylor Madeline remember me?

Elyse wonderful reveiw

message 26: by Hemant (last edited Jun 01, 2017 09:48AM) (new) - added it

Hemant Nice review

"I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

I dreamt I finished reading this but no, its still untouched on my cr haha

message 27: by Ana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ana Ruiz Ahhhh rereading this review made me want to read Rebecca again; what a delightfully surprising book.

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