Du Maurier, Daphne. Rebecca. Harper, 1938.
Reason read: as a “romance” I chose Rebecca for Valentine’s Day. For the Portland Public Library Reading Challenge, I chose it for the category of a book where a house is featured predominantly. Manderley is that house.
I took Rebecca to Florida for a five day trip and in that short time I devoured the entire book from start to finish. I can see why it has never gone out of print. Rebecca is a true psychological thriller that doesn’t need blood and gore to make it creepy. Even though the ghost of Rebecca never makes an appearance, you can feel her presence in every scene. In a nutshell, a young and inexperienced traveling companion falls in love with a much older widower while vacationing in Monte Carlo. Before meeting him, she heard all the rumors about how his wife tragically drowned in a sailing accident less than a year prior. She has heard all about his palatial estate, Manderley, handed down from generation to generation. Rather than travel on to New York as a companion, Mr. de Winter asks our unnamed heroine for her hand in marriage. And so begins the adventure. No one really likes the new Mrs. de Winter and Rebecca’s ghost seems to be everywhere thanks to Mrs. Danvers, the former Mrs. de Winter’s personal assistant. Danny just won’t let Rebecca die. While Rebecca does not make an appearance anywhere in the novel, her presence is felt everywhere.
As an aside, I wish Daphne Du Maurier was still alive to answer questions about Rebecca. Actually, I have questions about both the book and the character. The first Mrs. de Winter fascinates me.
Author fact: Du Maurier won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century with Rebecca.
Book trivia: My edition of Rebecca included a note from the editor, an author’s note, and the original epilogue.
Nancy said: in Book Lust Pearl said Rebecca is an annual read for some fans. In More Book Lust Pearl mentioned liking the opening line to Rebecca.
Setlist: Destiny’s Waltz, the Blue Danube, Merry Widow, Auld Lang Syne, Good Save the Queen.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Romance Novels: Our Love is Here to Stay” (p 203). From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Lines That Linger; Sentences That Stick” (p 140). Lastly, from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Cornwall’s Charm” (p 71). You can always tell when Pearl likes a book. She mentioned it either a bunch of times in one Book Lust or it makes its way into all three.