By: Daphne Du Maurier
Plot: This novel begins in the coast side city of Monte Carlo, where our unnamed narrator, or the second Mrs. de Winter, works as a lady’s companion. Orphaned and miserable living with her employer, Mrs. Van Hopper, she can hardly believe her luck when the Maxim de Winter, the rich, widowed, estate owner of Manderly, asks her to marry him. It’s only after they move to the large castle of a home she realizes how much of a shadow Maxim’s late wife, Rebecca, casts on their lives. With the housekeeper only loyal to Rebecca, everyone thinking she is the dollar-store version of Rebecca, and Maxim seemingly still loving Rebecca, the narrator realizes she must try her best to save her marriage from being broken by a ghost.
Thoughts: I enjoyed this novel an awful amount! Let me tell you why-
- The writing in this book was incredible. Daphne Du Maurier has an incredible way crafting beautiful imagery in the book. I must admit, I found the amount of world building a bit annoying, and boring at times. I found myself wanting more dialogue, not just the color of the sky, or what flowers sat on the dining table. But as the story progresses, I honestly really enjoyed this. As I read more books after Rebecca, I realize that lack of imagery can be quite off-putting at times. As I think back, I think Daphne Du Maurier was able to balance imagery and dialogue/actual plot perfectly.
- The characterization in this book was wonderful, as well. Every character was very well crafted, and they all come to life as you flip each page of this book. Each character had so many dimensions, it reading about them was truly a pleasure.
- The plot of this book was very well done, as well. It had all the right amount of suspense, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. At the beginning of this book, I did think the pace of the plot was a little slow, but it picked up very quickly.
I do want to mention how much I disliked Maxim de Winter. Oh, my goodness I cannot explain how much I loathed him. All the main character wanted was his love, affection, and approval, but every time she did anything, he would get mad. Every single conversation between the two would end up with him getting mad at nothing and storming off. The main character also wanted him to open up about his late wife and past life, but he would just get mad when she would ask. Also, Maxim treated her like a child, which got on my nerves.
His character was well thought out and brought to life, so his character did not stop me from liking this book.
The only thing I disliked about this book was the the amount of times the main character daydreamed. She would see something or someone, and her mind would come up with these vivid and long stories about them. For example, she would often daydream about what life was like when Rebecca was alive, and that imagery would last for a very long time. I found this was more of an issue at the beginning of the book, when I was trying to get into it and didn’t know if I should continue reading. As I got invested in the characters and plot of the book, it was no longer an issue.
Cover: I really like the cover of this book. I think the “R” written in the elegant font, the little flourishings by the author’s name, and the dark, mysterious picture behind them very nicely corresponds with the overall tone and style of this book.
Rating: ★★★★★ Five Stars! This book was amazing, and I highly recommend it!
-LA PETITE BOOK GIRL