Review – Rebecca

Title : Rebecca
Author : Daphne du Maurier
Publisher : Arrow
Published : January 1992 by (first published 1938)
Page : 397 pages
My Rating : 4.5/5

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”Ancient, beautiful Manderley, between the rose garden and the sea, is the county’s showpiece. Rebecca made it so – even a year after her death, Rebecca’s influence still rules there. How can Maxim de Winter’s shy new bride ever fill her place or escape her vital shadow?

A shadow that grows longer and darker as the brief summer fades, until, in a moment of climatic revelations, it threatens to eclipse Manderley and its inhabitants completely…

Daphne du Maurier’s masterpiece weaves a special magic that no-one who reads it will ever forget.

Thought on This Book :

Max you’re so distraught,

Perhaps I’ll help you out,

Your wife was so much more than me,

But I can be her now,

I can be her now,

-Meg & Dia, Rebecca

There is this young girl who fell in love with a man older by twice of her age. She was a shy girl and never been in love before. She worked as a companion to an American Woman who travelled in Europe. Then she met that man, old enough to be her father, but she loved him, and he asked her to marry him.

So our heroine, whose the given name was never stated in the book, choose to marry him, and went to his mansion called Manderley, where the gardens were beautiful and sound of sea can be heard from the house. Little did she knew, the ghost of his husband’s late wife taunting her life there. And so began the mystery of The Great Manderley.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

cr : link

I came across this book from Meg & Dia’s song titled Rebecca, and decided to read this (I read the ebook, but all of the book’s informations are taken from goodreads). I really love the simple acoustic piano by Meg and Dia’s voice in this song. So this book is part of my personal reading challenge Reading Meg & Dia’s Song. The first book I finished from the project is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. You can find the review here.

This will be one long review with some random scene taken from the book . I hope you guys will enjoy it : D

So the review.

This book is depressing, frustrating, yet strangely enough it is interesting and entertaining.

Let me point the things I like and dislike from this book.

What I dislike :

  • Main character.

This one heroine is particularly too depressed for her own good. Her rants are annoying. Her imagination of things are ridiculously nonsense. Her worries, although at some point are understandable, are too much. Summary : a doormat-girl, pathetic heroine. I understand maybe the author wanted us to pity her. But talking about pity, sure she is pitiable, much than enough.

  • I also don’t have any character that I truly like. Not Maxim de Winter. Not Mrs. Danvers. Not Frank Crawley. Not Jack Favell. Even more, certainly not Rebecca.
  • The writing style tended too hyperbolic and prolix. Therefore I felt in some parts, the pace is too slow. Some descriptions are making me bored to death. Especially when it’s come to Mrs. de Winter’s (our depressing heroine) insecure, hypothetic thinking.

Like this one :

As I sat down to dinner in the dining-dining room in my accustomed place, with Maxim at the head of the table, I pictured Rebecca sitting in where I sat now, picking up her fork for the fish, and then the telephone ringing and Frith coming into room and saying ‘Mr Favell on the phone, Madam, wishing to speak to you,’ and Rebecca would get up from her chair with a quick glance at Maim, who would not saying anything, who would go on eating his fish. And when she came back, having finished her conversation, and sat down in her place again, Rebecca would begin talking about something different , in a gay, careless way, to cover up little cloud between them. At first Maxim would be glum, answering in his monosyllables, but little by little she would win his humour back again, telling him some story of her day, about someone she had seen in Kerrith, and when they had finished the next course he would be laughing again, looking at her and smiling, putting his hand to her across the table.

And this one

He did not belong to me at all, he belonged to Rebecca. He still thought about Rebecca. He would never love me because of Rebecca. She was in the house still, a Mrs. Danvers had said; she was in that room in the west wing, she was in the library, in the morning room, in the gallery above the hall…And in the garden, and in the woods, and down in the stone cottage on the beach. Her footsteps sounded in the corridors, her scent lingered on the stairs. The servants obeyed her orders still, the food we ate was the food she liked. Her favorite flowers filled the rooms…Rebecca was still mistress of Manderley. Rebecca was still Mrs. de Winter.


Dear God what’s wrong with this girl’s wild imagination…

  • And as you could notice, too many commas and too little periods.

What I like :

  • Setting! Manderley had won me in this book. For this one, I should say thank you to Mrs. de Winter’s description on this place. I could picture and feel the castle/ mansion (?) clearly with its beautiful gardens, Happy Valley, the woods, the cope and sea under the west wing. The fog that surrounding in the morning. I could picture the library, morning room and the stairs. And of course, beyond the beauty of Manderley, there lurked the grimace. The writing captured it all. Well, I can’t say that the writing is bad, am I?

There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and the terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.

Manderley, as pictured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) .

My picture of brighter ver of Manderley and its superb garden cr : link

  • The mystery.

Ooooohhh I love the thrill and mystery here. Despite having rather slow pace for suspense book, the revelation of the mystery is done nicely. The clues being dropped one by one, like jigsaw pieces. The twist in the quarter end of the story is mindblown. The formulation of suspense-mystery-romance here make this story unforgettable.

  • Last quarter of the story

The twist! Omg I changed my mind about the characters after the revelation of the twist. Mrs. de Winter has grown up and more mature, braver than ever. She stand for what she loves. Maxim de Winter still an asshole but he also changed for good.  Although it seemed rather impossible, I’m starting to hope that Maxim and Mrs. de Winter will get a happy ending in the last chapters. I started to care about them in the end. Oohhh what a story…..

  • Ending

The ending itself rather ambiguous. I have to reread the last chapter once again to make sure I didn’t miss anything but no, the ending is just like that. But somehow I satisfied with it. Maybe Rebecca is one book that the opening page and the ending page are the most memorable for me. Not only the beautiful writing style, but its strong feeling contained there.

The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

Here is the song “Rebecca” by Meg & Dia.

Part of : New Author Reading Challenge (NARC) 2015 – What’s in the name




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