Title: Rebecca
Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Pub Date: 1938
Pages: 416
Genre: Gothic, Classics, Literary Fiction

Much like the main character’s experience, the word and description of Rebecca began haunting my reading thoughts a couple of years ago.  Many respected readers raved about this book, which eventually placed it on my TBR list.  I shied away from it for some time fearing that my love for it would not reach the profound levels that it had to so many others.  It is a dreadfully lonely place to be standing alone on an island ranting and raving about how miserable you were reading a loved book.  I didn’t want to risk being alone on that island.

But, like other moments in my life, that delusion of hysterics was absolutely silliness. 

I freakin’ LOVED Rebecca.

You wanna know why?  Immediately upon opening the pages I had that feeling I often get with books that will become beloved to me: a feeling of comfort and familiarity.  I’ve had that sensation while reading Pride & Prejudice, Emma, and Jane Eyre.  Jane Eyre should not be surprising, since I recently found out that there were some comparisons to that classic.  (I hit myself up the head once I realized the similarities).

Was anyone aggravated that we never found out our narrator’s name?  I wasn’t.  I have to admit, about a third through the novel I thought I might have overlooked it.  (Names, as a general rule, never stick for me).  After scouring the pages I realized that the narrator was identified outside of Mrs. De Winter.  Interestingly, even though Mrs. De Winters never had an identity of her own, she was a believable character.  I could picture her.  She existed for me. 

Oh, and Mr. De Winters.  How I felt for the man.  But when the end, the climax occurred, weren’t you shouting at him: Communicate you fool!  I know I was.  If there is anything to be learned from tragic romances is communication is key. 

Wait and wait.  Another aspect of Rebecca that I loved were the *evil* characters, those pesky little villains, like the crusty housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.  Wasn’t she a beast?  But an understandable beast.  Her love for Rebecca bordered obsessive creepiness, but she was fleshed out enough to truly understand why she despised the new Mrs. De Winters so much.  (Oh and the cous’, yeah, he creeped me out too).

What a long-winded post this is. 

Finally, I found some interesting facts about Rebecca:

  • ·       The novel inspired three other works: Mrs. De Winter, The Other Rebecca, and Rebecca’s Tale
  • ·       One edition of the book was used for code in World War II by the Germans.  They would use the page number, line number, and word number to send messages.  How smurfy is that?!
  • ·       I guess there was a soap opera in the 1970’s called Dark Shadows that was inspired by Rebecca
  • ·       There was a plagerism case made against Du Maurier where she won. 


  1. Oohhhh I've really been wanting to read this one for a while!! Sounds so good! I actually have the Mrs. DeWinter one on my TBR too.

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! It took me literally a decade of Jason's telling me I should read this to actually read it. I was kicking myself at the end...

    I read that at first, du Maurier just didn't know what to call the character, but after awhile it became an exercise for her - COULD she write this whole book without ever naming her main character? She did. And well too. :D

  3. I love, love, love this one too! The never-named protaginist thing didn't bother me either. Mrs. Danvers is one of the best creepy villains in literature in my mind. I'd never heard the German code thing, that's crazy. If you haven't seen it, I'd recommend Hitchcock's film verion of the book (same name), it's really good. Nothing can quite match the book, but it's a great movie.

  4. I freaking love Dark Shadows. They're available via Netflix!

  5. I loved this book when I was young and the opening pages created an image that remains in my head to this day.

    How interesting that it was actually used for WWII code, and I had no idea that Dark Shadows was inspired by Rebecca!

  6. I didn't like this one as much as Jamaica Inn. I know I am in a minority there, but the darkness in Jamaica Inn appealed more. I have Mrs De Winter out from the library at the moment and can't wait to read it as it is written by Susan Hill. Love her work.

  7. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I actually plan on re-reading it this year!

  8. I love this book to pieces, so I'm thrilled that you loved it too :D

  9. Dark Shadows was inspired by Rebecca? I didn't even much know! My sister and I watched some of that show on DVD, from the library, and it was marvelous.

    The Jane Eyre comparison is pretty apt. When I read Jane Eyre, I always read Rebecca right after, to lessen my bookish hangover from how amazing Jane Eyre is and how little other books can measure up.

  10. It took me eons to read this book because I grew up seeing the old black and white movie ! But I did finally read it and saw the movie yet again in my head!

  11. *hugs* I'm so freaking glad that you loved it :D Isn't it amazing? I fell in love with it from page one!

  12. So glad you loved this one! I read it as a buddy read with Amanda a little over a year ago and we both really enjoyed it.

    And yes! Mrs. Danvers is by far one of the creepiest characters in literature. Just thinking about her gives me the shivers.

  13. I read this for the first time last year and thought it was one of the "better" classics I ever read. Though I did keep wondering if we would ever find out her name!!!! It did make me want to read some of the "sequels" too .. and see the Hitchcock movie!

  14. This has been in my TBR pile for over a year now, and the Rebecca-related posts I've seen all over the blogosphere make me want to read it even more.

    I really enjoyed your review, particularly the last part. I think it's pretty cool that Rebecca was used by spies. :)

  15. I loved this book, too. I read it for the first time last year and I all ready want to read it again!

  16. My mom loved Rebecca so much that that is the only genre she reads!

  17. I just loved this, too, and wonder why it's taking me so long to get to her other novels!


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