Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

Need a Gothic novel that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning? Look no further than...

Hands-down one of the best books I've read in years, Rebecca is a Gothic novel written in 1938 by Daphne du Maurier. It is one of those novels that tells you everything and nothing in a single instant, and is a perfect study of jealousy, loyalty, and desperation. I went into this book knowing essentially nothing about it, just desperately needing to pick up a book that wasn't excessively long to get me through a few weeks.

What it's about:

A young woman, orphaned and unsure of herself is working as a companion to an American woman, Mrs. Van Hopper, for a living. Whilst on vacation in Monte Carlo, she meets the older widower, Maxim de Winter, the wealthy owner of the Manderley estate. The two form a friendship which quickly develops into more. When Maxim whisks her away from her mundane life back to his home at Manderley, she is haunted by the memory of his previous wife. Will she ever learn to escape the shadow of the beautiful, and beloved Rebecca?

Why it's worth a read:
  • Because one of the people you are rooting for would be the person you despised if the book was written from a different character's perspective
  • The second you finish the book, you'll instantly want to re-read the beginning. There are so many things that you will look at with a completely different perspective
  • If you love a good Gothic novel, this one will not disappoint. It isn't necessarily traditional in some of its Gothic elements, but as the novel progresses it gives more and more of that feel
  • It will definitely get you to question your perspective on right vs. wrong
  • The suspense will nearly kill you at points, and it is absolutely delightful
  • Some fascinating and absolutely wicked characters that are a thrill to explore
Where it disappoints:
  • The beginning is quite slow, and if you find it difficult to stick with a book that takes a while to get into, this one might not appeal to you
  • There are times when you have to wait to the point that it is a bit painful to get resolution to issues - realistic, but not immediately gratifying
  • The main character isn't particularly interesting, nor admirable. Her love interest is not very romantic either
  • If you really love getting to know the backstory behind lots of characters and what makes them tick, this book doesn't give you much insight. However you do feel as though you understand them all the same
Final Thoughts:

I find this book so incredibly difficult to talk about. It's one of those novels that is essentially simple in its plot, but has so many nuances that it is hard to find a balance between explanation and spoiling the book. So, if you are a fan of Gothic novels, or are wanting to pick one up, this is a great way to go. It is highly psychological in nature, however it isn't one that you have to wrack your brains constantly to work out. It also isn't overly long, so it doesn't end up being a massive time commitment. I am raving in my head about all of the amazing things about this novel that I can't properly express, so - check it out!

Have you read Rebecca? What is your favourite Gothic novel?


  1. This is one of my all time favorites. I also love the Hitchcock movie, which although it changes a major point it's still awesome.

    Great review!

  2. I actually just purchased a copy of Hitchcock's version at a charity sale (but it had never even been opened!). I'm looking forward to watching it. Thanks for reading!

  3. I love how you lifted both the good and the bad even though you obviously enjoyed this a lot! I feel like most of what you mentioned in the disappointments section would probably (hopefully) not bother me, SO your review just made me all the more excited for this! :) NEED TO READ SOON!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques