April 1951. It is 20 years since the death of Rebecca, the beautiful first wife of Maxim de Winter. It is 20 years since the inquest, which famously, and controversially, passed a verdict of suicide. Twenty years since Manderley, the de Winders' ancient family seat, was razed to the ground. But Rebecca's tale is just the beginning....
This is Sally Beauman's companion to Daphne du Maurier's classic, Rebecca.
©2001 Sally Beauman (P)2002, 2013 AudioGO Ltd
The fashion for writing sequels, prequels or just cashing in on best selling novels has produced some shockers!! For instance .... Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With The Wind. Margaret Mitchell must have turned in her grave!! Daphne du Maurier, however, need not. Rebecca's Tale takes the reader on a journey using, as background, the familiar story but introduces some very likeable new characters into the modern day account as they try to find the truth ... try to find the "real" Rebecca. I was entranced by this novel, narrated so beautifully by Robert Powell (love the Scottish accent ... and his Jack Favell could have been George Sanders) and Juliet Stevenson. If there is any criticism , it would be that Rebecca's diary to her unborn child perhaps went on a little too long but it did offer revealing insight into her character. For those who love Rebecca, I do not think you will find this book disappointing.
"Shame about poor quality of recording"
An excellent story which does real justice to the original tale and provides interesting possible insights/"what if?"s for readers (both new to the story and long- standing fans). I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and narration.
My enjoyment of this excellent audiobook was, however, utterly spoilt by the extremely poor, crackly and distorted quality of the recording. I have twenty-year old cassette tape audiobooks which sound significantly better than this recording. It is testament to how brilliant the storyline and narration were that I continued to listen to it and, therefore, feel I can't ask for a refund. That said it is far, far beneath what I would expect from audible and this issue really needs addressing if audible are to continue charging for this item.
"A great entertaining listen"
Readers don't come any better than Juliet Stevenson and Robert Powell, and this was a great story. Lots of potential pitfalls in writing a book like this but it was far enough away from the original to be novel in its own right and close enough to be an interesting expansion on 'Rebecca' . A great listen.
"Atmospheric and captivating"
This is a wonderful book, the best I have read for years. It is beautifully written, full of atmosphere, pathos, and love - of its characters, its Cornish setting, its era, and the book on whose dusty corners it seeks to shed a momentary flicker of light - Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca'. Already a 'Rebecca' addict (which I have read countless times) I slipped seamlessly into Sally Beauman's writing, first guided by a familiar character, minor in the original and perhaps an unlikely hero, and then to others not in the original but who have their own fascination and about whom you come to care deeply. My favourite is Arthur Julian who is so touchingly and lovingly depicted. Where 'Rebecca' was the second Mrs de Winter's autobiography, 'Rebecca's Tale' gives us - fleetingly and selectively, sometimes in her own words, sometimes in those of the people who knew her from childhood - the story of Maxim's first wife, who never had her own voice in the original book, who indeed was already dead by the time that story opened. Despite the discoveries in 'Rebecca's Tale', however, much is still left unanswered, and Rebecca herself remains elusive and mysterious and impossible to pin down, as she should be. The book is brilliantly conceived, wonderfully evocative, deliciously eery at times, and often intensely moving. Whether or not it is - as one reviewer puts it - 'Daphne du Maurier', soon becomes irrelevant.As the story progresses, I found that I lost interest in that first Mrs de Winter's account and became much more interested in the characters we are introduced to, who for their own reasons are seeking the truth about Rebecca.'Rebecca's Tale' is so much more than a prequel or sequel and should be judged in its own right. The narrators are excellent although I did find that in places the sound quality especially in the Robert Powell pieces was a bit ropey.
"An interesting slant"
Obviously this was going to be a hard book to pull off because Rebecca is such a famous book and film.
I think this was as good as it could ever be trying to write a continuation - but it is not Daphne du Maurier and so difficult to know if this would be as she would have written it - but an interesting slant.
I love the book Rebecca (and My Cousin Rachel by DdM) and this is what prompted me to try this - I liked it overall and enjoyed it hense 4 stars
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