Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Review by Sarina

Post Date:05/19/2023

rebecca book co


I have always been a fan of thriller novels, so when I decided to read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I was not disappointed at all. Set in the Manderly estate, it follows the story of a down-to-earth young woman (Her name and age are never revealed, adding to the mystery of the story.) as she adjusts to living a brand new life with her husband, Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter. Not only is Maxim much older than her, but he also is very wealthy as the owner of Manderly. However, things start to take an eerie turn as the narrator discovers more about her husband, Manderly, and her husband’s first wife, the greatly loved Rebecca.
The narrator initially works as an assistant (or, as she calls it, a companion) to the snobbish Mrs. Van Hopper at Monte Carlo. As they eat lunch one day, the narrator meets Maxim for the first time and learns he is struggling to get over the sudden death of his first wife, Rebecca, who drowned in a sailing accident. Without telling Mrs. Van Hopper, the narrator and Maxim secretly go on car rides together and start to grow closer together. One day, Mrs. Van Hopper decides to take the narrator with her to New York; this breaks the narrator’s heart, for she began to fall in love with Maxim. She rushes to tell him before she leaves, and Maxim proposes the idea that they get married and go to Manderly together, which the narrator accepts.
The narrator, who did not grow up rich, is amazed by the weather her husband has (note: the narrator is now known as Mrs. de Winter). Manderly is a large mansion with several wings, a large garden, and a nearby beach. Mrs. de Winter is very nervous about her first impression towards the many servants of the household. Her fears only get worse after meeting Mrs. Danvers, the head servant of the household. Mrs. Danvers was very, very fond of Rebecca (Mrs. Danvers was her maid since Rebecca was a young girl), so having a new “Mrs. de Winter” is unsettling to her. The new Mrs. de Winter constantly has to deal with comparisons between herself and Rebecca (upon meeting Maxim’s sister, Beatrice, and her husband, Giles,  the first thing they say is that she is very different from Rebecca.);. Mrs. de Winter learns that Mrs. Danvers has been treating Rebecca’s room as if she was still alive as well. Realizing how loved Rebecca was, Mrs. de Winter starts to fear her husband does not love her and begins feeling overwhelmed by the presence of his first wife. After a shocking plot twist, all of that changes.
Despite being written nearly a century ago, this is a story that could be read for centuries to come! Unlike stories written during this time, the language of Rebecca is easy to understand. I honestly do not believe I have read a plot twist as great as du Maurier’s in any of today’s books! I enjoyed the mystery around both Rebecca and Mrs. de Winter herself. I would rate this book a 10/10.


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