Daphne Du Maurier
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeched, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten… her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant – the sinister Mrs. Danvers – still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of the evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca… for the secrets of Manderley.
This is a book I re-read for my Classics Challenge. I remember reading it in high school, and liking it, but I really didn’t remember much about it other than the major plot points. Reading it again as an adult was quite fulfilling. I loved so many things about this book. The imagery is stunning and vivid. The characters are well written. The villain is so very evil, yet you almost feel sorry for her. The fact that we never learn the heroine’s name is such an interesting addition to the story — and yet, it’s part of the story because it shows you how much the narrator feels overshadowed by her husband’s (first) late wife, Rebecca. This book reminds you why classic literature still remains classy. Without going into details that would spoil the book, there is so much here that is unparalleled by today’s popular fiction novels: The depth of the book. The craftiness of the well-written words. The somber mood that hangs over the whole novel just like its foreboding rain that won’t break. The characters that you feel like you know. It’s been called a romance by some, and I suppose there is an element of that, but I would call this more of a suspense/thriller/mystery.
5 of 5 stars.
Would I recommend it to my BFF? Yes!
Would I recommend it to my 13 year old? Yes.