Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…. With these words the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room in the immense, foreboding estate were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten–a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. And with an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife–the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca. Summary from Goodreads
I decided to read Rebecca because of a recommendation from one of my online book clubs. I also talked my co-worker Erin into reading it for our monthly book club book, but she hasn’t read it yet.
I really enjoyed Rebecca. The story was very suspenseful and intriguing. The unnamed heroine reminded me of how I’d act or feel if I were in her situation. I felt like I could relate to her a lot, which helped me like the story even more. There were also a few twists that added to the depth of the story and caught me off guard.
The edition of the book I read actually had the original epilogue with it. Because the name of the heroine’s husband was changed, it was not included as part of the story. In fact, in this edition (cover not pictured), Du Maurier explains she rewrote the epilogue into the first couple of chapters of the book. I enjoyed reading the epilogue because it included details the published version doesn’t have.
In the 1940s, the book was made into a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Having read the story now, I think Hitchcock would’ve done a superb job at capturing the suspense of the novel. I actually can’t wait until I see the movie. I also found out there’s a remake currently in production. Ralph Fiennes is slated to perform the role of the heroine’s husband.