After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.
©2008 Daphne du Maurier; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
Our unnamed narrator, a young woman just barely out of school is working for a rich and unpleasant American woman on a visit to Monte Carlo as a companion, when she meets Maxim de Winter, a English man twice her age and recently widowed, who nevertheless courts her and asks her to marry him within a couple of weeks. Given the choice between following her employer to New York and spending her life on the renowned Manderley estate in England with this dashing older man, she opts for a quick marriage and honeymoon in Italy. When the newlywed couple arrive at Manderley and are greeted by the staff, the young woman is immediately made to feel ill at ease. Nothing in her background has prepared her to take charge of this kind of residence, something which the very scary housekeeper Mrs Danvers, who is devoted to the late Mrs De Winter, doesn't fail to make all too clear. In no time at all, our young woman is convinced she's made a mistake. Her husband seems to have little interest in her and she is convinced that his first wife Rebecca still has a hold on him and everyone else she's ever graced with her charms. Very little actually happens for at least the first half of this novel, but the tension could be cut with a knife, the Gothic atmosphere is brilliantly conveyed, and pretty soon it becomes impossible to know who should and shouldn't be trusted. A great mystery novel beautifully narrated by Anna Massey, one of my all-time favourites.
If you are an adult who read this long ago, and you remember the nostalgic beauty, beware. Yes, Ms. DuMaurier was a fantastic author. The problem with this story, for a 60 plus girl, is that the main character is a complete idiot. Oddly, I can remember suggesting the book to my father and being offended when he said, "The girl in the story is kind of stupid. Don't you think?" Well, Daddy, I know you see this in Heaven: Yes, she is a dope.Please read it ... When you are young enough to appreciate the eery romance, and you will love the suspense and pity the narrator, but don't wait 'til you're in your senile years or you'll just be frustrated by the girl's stupidity.
Yes ... I love the author, and I bet I could read some of her others again without giving up on a naive idiot.
Character development rings true but becomes frustrating. The development requires attention but there is no resolution.
I was intrigued by the concept of this book from the beginning and was not disappointed. The book is about a character who is not even alive and yet is truly an integral part of the story. The narrator makes you feel the emotions of the main character right along with her. I loved this book
Anna Massey is a magnificent wonderment of a narrator. Nevertheless, don't buy this book. Don't read it. Don't listen to it. There is still time to turn back untouched. I read this book so long ago without returning to it several times as is usually my wont, I quite forgot it except for the poetic refrain of returning to Manderley. Manderley. I dreaded Mandeley. I have always dreaded Manderley. I think this book was the first time I strayed into condoning or excusing murder. I sided with the killer. Do you hear? I sided with the killer! My moral compass spun free of all restrain. Daphne du Maurier has that effect on the reader. Take care or your compass will spin uncontrollable too. Don't buy this book. Don't listen to it. Stay free!
There is a poetic magnetism interwoven into the fibers of this story which draws in the mind and overpowers the senses. Manderley, Manderley. It has been 10 or 15 years since I first read this work. Still, even today, the poem is in my brain. I am afraid. If you chose to go further, you have been warned. If you cross the border; you will not escape. Always ahead is Manderley. Manderley. The place where evil lurks. The place where we are. Turn back. Turn back while there is still time.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I was of the minority who had no idea what this book was about. The only thing I knew was that the author was British. I found that I was surprised on a couple occasions when certain truths were revealed in the story - so I guess that means the story is not predictable.
There were two moderate drawbacks to the story:
1) it went on a bit too long (after the big truth is revealed, the protagonist continues to babble on about the tea service and furniture and how remarkably remarkable everything was)
2) the entire mystery/story hinges on the reader accepting that the protagonist lives in a little world of her own and is too young/naive/dumb to question anyone's behaviors - if she had done so, the story falls apart as soon as she reaches Mandaley.
Given all that, I still quite liked it. It has great atmosphere and is narrated brilliantly.
I'm a middle-aged man in Chicago who's finding a penchant for British literature; the stories, yes; but the manner by which they're told.
I would listen to an audio book of a phone book if I knew Anna Massey had performed it…her portrayal of Mrs. Van Hopper has the right combination of humor, vulgarity, cruelty, and arrogance.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
This is a beautifully written classic. The mystery within a mystery was captivating and the thick underlying tension that runs throughout was gripping. I loved the marvelous way Daphne du Maurier depicted the time period and how she wonderfully highlighted it with all the pomp and circumstance of the day. The characters were all very refined and their personalities were truly genuine and believable, I really felt connected and engrossed with them and this great story.
The narration was top notch and am looking forward to listening to more of Anna Massy's work. Highly recommend this enchanting book.
The character of Mrs Danvers is one of the most iconic characters I've read in fiction. Any of her monologues are totally riveting.
She does icy WASP-iness like no one else, and her little variations her inflection give every character something special. She's great.
Yes. yes yes yes. Took me 4 days total. It's moody and tense, and I never knew when was a good time to stop listening.
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