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Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca

Rebecca

by Daphne du Maurier

A novel about jealousy and romantic self-delusion. A book which is as difficult to appreciate at first glance as it is unforgettable after the first read.

When the widowed English aristocrat, Maximillian de Winter walks in to the hotel, it is not long before Mrs Van Hopper has snared him in her web and starts to pump him for the latest gossip about his famed home, Manderley.

De Winter's rudeness towards her is understandable, as is his wish to apologise. But the fact that he sends his apology not to Mrs Van Hopper, but in a personal note to her young companion suggests he may have undisclosed motives. And then there is the question of why talking about his famous home should cause him such anguish. And behind all this there is the mystery of Rebecca.

What must follow, surely, is romance.

But what sort of relationship can there be between a wealthy landed aristocrat and a penniless, uneducated lady's companion. And if there is to be romance how will the memory of Rebecca affect such a romance? The memory of Rebecca. The ghost of Rebecca. Rebecca. Maxim's first wife.


Du Maurier's brilliance in this novel is in making certain that we know from chapter one what is to follow.

For a novel concerning the greatest romance of a young woman and the unimaginable tragedy that follows, the novel is written in a deceptively understated style, with what is left unsaid and unstated as important as the dialogue and the narrative.

There are a few scenes in the novel which at first seem superfluous, but which on second reading seem essential to giving the novel it's uniquely haunting and sinister atmosphere.

Published by Cover to Cover and read by Anna Masey

Litrev Rating

Overall 5______

Suspense 5______
Characters 5______
Plot 5______
Audio 5______
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