Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again....
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling tale that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.
©2014 Daphne du Maurier (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"Rebecca is a work of immense intelligence and wit, elegantly written, thematically solid, suspenseful.." (Washington Post)
"Daphne du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings." (Stephen King)
This is a great novel, and considered to be one of the best crime/thriller novels ever written. That might be surprising to some, since it's not about the police or a detective, or even really about a criminal enterprise at all, but about a young girl who marries an older, wealthier man and becomes the mistress of a large, famous, classic English manor named Manderley in the early 20th century. She is haunted by concerns that she will not live up to the perfect perception that her husband's friends, family, and staff have of the now-deceased first wife, Rebecca. The struggle of the naive, young second wife against her dynamic and powerful older husband, as well as by the imprint of his first wife still left in their home are palpable. As for the crime and the mystery? Well, it involves Rebecca's death and why she seems to still haunt the memories of everyone who lives and works at Manderley.
The reader was fantastic for this book. She had the perfect diction and voice for this particular book.
I loved how kind of haunting this story was. It feels along the same vein as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights but I liked it so much more.
I thought the fact that we never know the main character's name to be fascinating. We hear the name Rebecca endlessly, but never the current Mrs. de Winter.
Such a well-written and well-performed book.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
This is a good read for everyone, but it will be appreciated by women more. The new Mrs De Winter must live in the shadow of the late Mrs De Winter, Rebecca. It's slightly similar to Gone With the Wind in that the central character is actually a house. Instead of Tara we have Manderlay. This English manor is set on the coast of England and is similar to Downton Abbey with the dozens of house hold staff including the evil Mrs Danvers. The young naive new Mrs DeWinter tries to cope in an environment that overwhelms her. But all is not as it seems. Kind of slow at beginning but it picks up the pace about a third into the book. This was also a great movie with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (You can find on Utube)
Beautiful, suspenseful, surprising
I liked how the heroine told the story as a memory. I liked the mystery of it. I was surprised.
She had wonderful voices for the characters. I also liked how her narration voice of the heroine sounded a little older than when the young heroine was speaking in the story. The English accent was perfect for the characters. I really liked her performance.
Rebecca will keep you on the edge of your seat until the closing scene.
I think Daphne Du Maurier is a fantastic writer. Her descriptions are beautiful and compelling. Her plot was creative and full of twists. I didn't quite figure it all out until the end. Everything that happens in the beginning has ties to the surprise ending. I want to go back and read it again knowing how things turn out. It will be interesting from that angle too.
This is a classic that I never heard of until I happened upon it in the book store a few months ago. Then my daughter selected it to do her final project in honor's English. I'm big on sharing reading experiences with my children so I began my journey through these haunting words. I was expecting a romance set in the 1930's. What I received was an education of the gothic genre. This book was so gorgeously written. The descriptions of Mandeley were so rich I felt transported to the world of the English countryside! Throughout the narrative the dark and mysterious mood was consistent and I kept coming back for more. My daughter and I had interesting conversations about the characters and the plot. Lastly, the narrator was FABULOUS!!
Romantic period mystery
Jane Eyre, The Women in White
I'm really picky about my narrator's and one of the reasons I chose Rebecca over other books on my 'To Read' list was because of Anna Massey's narration. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to, and she brings life to each of the different characters without being distracting from the writing.
This book will pique your interest and make you want to keep listening.
Very worth a download if you like classic literature (Jane Eyre, any Austen novels, Wilkie Collins). It's a great story and the narrator is wonderful.
I loved listening to this audiobook just as much as I loved reading this story for the first time many years ago. The narrator was pitch perfect and made the story, atmosphere, and characters really come alive. Du Maurier is a master at painting the mood of a scene in your imagination with her descriptions. Would recommend this book to anyone looking for a suspenseful, engaging, and compelling story.
Audiobook narrator in my own right, I'm a voracious listener of anything & everything. I'm a sponge, absorbing entertainment & the craft!
This novel is a classic for a reason! The story is full of twists and turns that kept me constantly engaged, but the highlight was the extraordinary performance by Anna Massey!
I thought about this book for a long time, having never read it, and decided to see what I'd find here on Audble. When I saw that Anna Massey was the narrator I snapped it up! She was just as brilliant as I knew she'd be, having seen her in several films and knowing what an amazing actress she was. It's unfortunate that she passed away a few years ago because the audiobook world is sorely lessened by no longer having her to narrate books any longer. This is a must listen just for her performance alone!!
I never wanted to stop listening once I began again! Daphne du Maurier's prose is wonderful and the crafting of the story was excellent! Don't pass this one up!!
I decided I want to experience more of the classics so I chose Rebecca for its mystery and reviews. It was slow for the first few chapters for me, but then picked up intensity as the puzzle of the title character was revealed in cunning fashion.
I was a tad frustrated with du Maurier's quirk of leaving the narrator unnamed. Letting that go was another good decision. I was utterly entranced with the evil characters our sweet narrator faced through Rebecca, her personal maid Mrs. Danvers and the horrid cousin.
It's worth every second of listening for the final chapters that pay off handsomely in twists and turns you do not expect. Well done Ms. du Maurier and Audible for immersing me in the intrigue of Rebecca and our narrator's world of Manderly!
This book falls into the category of TRULY GREAT READ. Du Maurier creates a fantastically sympathetic narrator. Much of the pleasure of the novel is seeing her come into her own as the story goes on. It also includes one of the great villains in literature--Mrs Danvers. And then there's the setting--Manderley--which is described in such lush, unforgettable detail, you feel as if you can smell the flowers and feel the wind. Ultimately, it's a thriller, and the suspense keeps ratcheting up with unexpected twists. It would also fall into the category of "guilty pleasure" but the descriptions are so well written and the characters have so much psychological depth, there's no need to feel guilty.
Anna Massey (who played Mrs Danvers in a TV adaptation) is superb. She has tremendous fun with every character, makes each one come to life, brings out the suspense and the (considerable) comedy, all without tipping into camp.
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