“Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier
If you’re looking for romance, suspense, and Victorian mansions, look no further – Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” is awesome.
Our unnamed young woman narrator finds herself married to a wealthy widower after a whirlwind romance. When she returns to Manderley (his mansion/her new home) with him after their extended honeymoon, she quickly realizes she’s stepped into some big shoes; Rebecca, the previous wife, was adored by the household staff, gorgeous, the perfect hostess, flawless when it came to running a home, and a positively angelic wife.
Or was she? DUNDUNDUN! It’s all a mystery!
With unexpected turns, brilliant characters, a fantastically developed narrator, and some truly creepy moments, this book is a blast to read. There’s scandal and intrigue and all sorts of wonderfully mysterious things going on in every corner of the house. There’s a housekeeper – Mrs. Danvers – with an obsession with Rebecca who’s as vivid a character as I’ve ever seen put on a page. As a narrator, the new wife recalls her strange story in great detail while Du Maurier uses her as a vehicle to drop clues along the way that will lead the reader to their own assumptions. (All the things I thought were happening were completely wrong in the end, FYI. So, trust no one.)
It’s no wonder the book was turned into both an Academy Award winning Hitchcock film and a Broadway-aiming musical.
I encourage anyone who loves a good mystery, or The Brontes, to check out this book.