This book tells the story of an anonymous woman who met a widower named Maxim de Winter and agreed to marry him after only getting along for a while. They moved to Mandley Manor in the English countryside, and the narrator felt immediately uncomfortable. The staff kept pestering her “former Mrs. Derwent”, a woman named Rebecca, who was charming, beautiful, and loved by everyone. It didn’t take long for the narrator to question her relationship with Maxim. Does he love her? When he sees Rebecca’s face, will he think of Rebecca? Is she destined to be compared to his ex-wife for the rest of her life?
She denies it herself mostly in the book, telling herself that he loves her and she will be fine. But she has no hobbies and spends most of her time thinking about her affairs. When she is not alone, she will try to run Mandley, but the housekeeping staff will not stop comparing her with Rebecca.
Among Du Maurier’s favorite Authors and writers were the Brontë sisters (Emily Charlotte, and Anne). the plot and speed of Rebecca are suggestive of Jane Eyre. With Rebecca, many accepted that Du Maurier had tracked down her voice as a creator. She imbued the sensational story with incredibly great psychological insight and introduced an account of desire that resounded with many readers.
While working as the companion of a wealthy American woman on vacation in Monte Carlo, the unnamed narrator, a naïve young woman in her early twenties, gets acquainted with a wealthy Englishman, George Fortescue Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter, a 42-year-old widower. After two weeks of betrothal, she agrees to marry him and, after the wedding and honeymoon, accompany him to his mansion in Cornwall, the beautiful Manderley estate.
Mrs. Danvers, the sinister housekeeper, made a profound devotion to first lady de Winter, Rebecca, who died in a boat accident about a year before Maxim and second lady de Winter met. She constantly tries to psychologically weaken the narrator, subtly suggesting to her she will never reach the beauty, civilization, and magic that her predecessor possessed. When the narrator attempts to change Manderley, Mrs. Danvers describes how Rebecca managed her while she was alive. Every time Mrs. Danvers does this, she is implying that the narrator lacks the experience and knowledge necessary to manage an important property. Disturbed by the imposing manner of Mrs. Danvers and the other members of Rebecca’s unwavering West Country community, the narrator becomes aloof.
This story goes back and forth while the narrator is constantly trying to prove her worth and get out of the shackles of her husband’s former lover who is so highly regarded.
Daphne du Maurier is a master of poetic prose. She writes eloquently no matter what the scenario or substance is, even if it’s simply dialogue. Here’s an example: “I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardice, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word.”
Beautiful writing is so important as it carries a story. Imagination is one thing, but to carry that from page one to the finale is a skill that Daphne has mastered. Also, even though this is a classic, it doesn’t use outdated or hard-to-understand language.
The narrator is a timid, naïve, middle-class woman in her early twenties, who enjoys sketching. These features about her led her to become the second misses’ winter by marrying Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter he is reserved and unemotional, also the owner of Manderley. After their marriage the narrator moves in with him, that’s when she met Mrs. Danvers, the cold, overbearing housekeeper of Manderley. Always nagging the narrator and telling her she is not as good as the first miss winter who passed away. Her name was Rebecca, a famous beauty, and on the surface a devoted wife and perfect hostess.
Rebecca is an absolute masterpiece, that’s a title it cannot be denied, with an amazing story that is put into words beautifully and that opening line ‘’ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again’’ is forever burned into the minds of everyone who reads the book, there’s truly not a lot of bad you can say about it and a lot of good that you can, it deserves to be in the top 100 best novels.