Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Review by Nicola Manuel

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

What an opening line. No matter how many times I read this line it never gets old, in fact it excites me every time. Why? Because I know I have the wonderful novel of ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier ahead of me, spilling through the many glorious pages of the enclosed book. The front cover dances out at me, a clear insight as to what the book may hold. Something dark and mysterious. If, like me, you love classics, a hearty read with a “golly gosh, I did not see that coming” look on books then I highly recommend this as a read.

Class has always been a conscious issue in our society. This is something quite favourable in Daphne’s writing that really does promote itself within the book. With a sharp divide shown between the two classes, working and upper, you see the clear distinction of an upper class household and the happenings that may occur. In Daphne Du Maurie’s novel she dictates the issues that were raised when class was mixed due to marriage. It is through the novel that we experience the life of the new Mrs de Winter who is newly wed to the famous Maxim de Winter.

But who is Rebecca? The central character Rebecca is the first wife to Maxim de Winter, owner of their estate, Manderley. Through the opening passage you are allowed to step into a dream. A dream that soon leads on to the introduction of the characters and place. You read through the book walking in the shoes of the new wife though. A timid character who is never given a name. Through the experience of reading the book you will feel like the woman who had no name is of uppermost importance in your mind, through her quest to overcome the living ghost of her husband’s dead wife in order to achieve happiness.

The character that you have learnt to know so well, despite the name, has shared a sophisticated moment with us through time: a moment, which you will never forget: a moment, which you now need to experience and enjoy.


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