- Books, Literature, and Writing
Return to Manderley with Rebecca
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . "
The first sentence of the novel "Rebecca" sends my hands to my heart in almost swooning happiness at such a good read. I first read the book by Daphne du Maurier more than 20 years ago, and it still holds first place as my favorite book. There is little I don't like about the book, except perhaps that I so wish the romance hadn't been so desperately sad in many ways.
The author had a way of carrying a haunting tone through the story, such that you almost can feel damp English fog enfold you as you read. From the first page you can't help but lean forward, wanting terribly for the naïve, anxious narrator to stand taller and braver and make this chance at love work more toward her favor.
The interesting thing about this novel, is that you never learn this young, 20-something narrator's name in the story itself. The main character, the almost silly little thing that carries you all through the story, is only referred to by others as Mrs. de Winter, or by her husband as "my dear". The feeling of impending doom almost hovers over the pages as you read about the young woman working as a lady's companion falling quickly for a wealthy, recent widower and moving to his large English estate. The sinister housekeeper, along with her husband, Maxim de Winter prove to bring the easily intimidated Rebecca nearly to a state of panic as she strives to be the woman of the house.
Rebecca has been in print continuously since 1938, and it is not a surprise, as this is a classic that is so well worth reading. I imagine your pages turning endlessly as mine did, as you discover the unsuspecting end to the story of Rebecca, and her Manderley.
Susan Hill does a very impressive job carrying through with the same atmosphere as Rebecca in this sequel.
A small taste of the movie "Rebecca" for you to enjoy!
Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine give wonderful performances in this movie rendition of Rebecca
Do you have an all time favorite book? I would love to hear what it is!
A very well written biography on the life of Daphne Du Maurier