The book “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier, draws on the alluring glamour of 1930s country society and the aura of impending devastation that saturated the years before the Second World War. Put simply, it is a novel about a house and a dead woman.
The book tells the story of a young, nameless protagonist whom finds herself sucked into a whirlwind romance with her volatile new husband, the illustrious yet gloomy Maxim de Winter, owner of the sprawling Cornish estate, Manderley.
Lured to his manor with a blunt marriage proposal, and a hurried honeymoon, the narrator finds there is already a lady of the house occupying her new home, Rebecca, Maxim’s acclaimed (dead) ex-wife. The protagonist finds herself haunted by Rebecca’s imposing ghostly presence, her mark left on everything within the house, including Manderley itself, seeming to come alive with Rebecca’s malevolent spirit.
Loved and admired by all who met her, Rebecca’s tragic death hounds the young narrator wherever she goes, as she tries to make her own legacy, enshrouded in Rebecca’s shadow. As the story
unfolds, however, it becomes clear that Rebecca may have not been as angelic as she seemed, and the “accidental” nature of her death is soon called into question . . .
Rebecca is a powerful, gripping novel that many young girls will be able to relate to, with its themes of competition with other women and identity crisis. Manderley is a brilliant depiction of your typical gothic mansion, with a hellish twist, prowled by an overbearing ghost and a sinister housekeeper, bearing a perverse obsession with the former Mrs de Winter. Rebecca is a book that will surely resonate with many readers, with its themes of Crime, Mystery, Horror, and Twisted Romance, paired with a shocking twist that will leave you reeling.