I don’t know how this book flew under my radar for so long, it’s everything I love in a book.
Daphne Du Maurier’s book opens with a dream. The main character, Mrs. de Winter, the second, sets the scene, telling us of the dream she had of the place she briefly called home. We then go back with her, to the hotel where she first met her new husband, Maxim de Winter, a brooding character who is trying to get over the death of his wife, Rebecca.
When she arrives at Manderly, his English estate by the sea, she finds things are more mysterious than she believed. Rebecca died in a boating accident, despite being an experienced boater. However, as the new Mrs. de Winter tries to get into a rhythm, she can’t help but feel like the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers dislikes her, simply on the basis that she’s replacing Rebecca. The longer the new Mrs. de Winter is at Manderly, the more she gets the feeling there are secrets she is unaware of, but she soon finds out they are darker than she could have imagined.
Du Maurier writes an engaging story of mystery and suspense, full of dark secrets and dark characters. Du Maurier never gives us the name of the second Mrs. de Winter, which adds to the sense of mystery about the story. The characters are also mostly grey characters, filled with both good and bad, making them relatable and realistic.
The story started off a little slow, but it picked up quickly, and kept my attention so that I didn’t want to put it down, I was desperate to finish the book and know what happened. Du Maurier leads readers to think different things, dropping hints along the way and red herrings, so that when you reach the end, you find out the characters were playing games with each other the whole time.
If you haven’t already, Rebecca is definitely worth the read.