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You've made me think I really need to read this. For some reason, I think my attitude has been, 'well I know the story, I've seen the film so why read the book', but that is obviously not the case.


Tara--Which movie adaptation did you see? Although you'll already know the twists, her writing is really excellent and I think you'll get a different feeling if you read it, since it is a first person narrative and you are really inside the second Mrs. de Winter's head. I think I'm biased though! :)


I read Rebecca for the second time earlier this year as well and like you Danielle I found it a very different (and better) experience the second time around. I think I could read it again now and it would be a different reading altogether again. I re-read it because I was about to read Daphne by Justine Picardie (which I absolutely loved). I will now have to move on to the Margaret Forster biography I think.


Oh, I am definitely encouraged to reread this, now. I absolutely loved Rebecca but I read it in high school and I think I could get so much more out of it this go around...thanks for the great review!

Dorothy W.

I'll definitely have to read it! I like the idea of a house becoming a major character -- it reminds me of Poe and "The Fall of the House of Usher" -- surely an influence??


This is one of my top 5 all-time favorite books for many of the reasons you list here. Having just read The Haunting of Hill House, I can see comparisons between the two. Both have a creepy old house that does seem oddly human at times, and both revolve around young, fragile women, and finally, both are psychological ghost stories. These seem to be prerequisites for a good gothic novel. Great review!

Carl V.

The first time I read Rebecca, almost 2 decades ago now, is one of the most treasured reading experiences I had. I was instantly drawn in to the subtle menace that pervaded the book and enjoyed the romantic aspects as well. I found it an incredibly well written, haunting and captivating novel and to this day consider it one of the books that stands out as the reason I am so enamored of gothic fiction. I do need to get around to reading some of her other books sometime.


I've always been creeped-out by this novel. Don't you think Mrs. Danvers is one of the most villanous women ever created in modern literature? Du Maurier was brilliant at creating mood and atmosphere in her novels. It's too bad she was poo-poohed simply because she was female. Thanks, Dani!


Karen--I really enjoyed the Forster bio and it really shed light on her work. I think it helped when I reread Rebecca. I am now reading The Rebecca Notebooks, which is also enlightening. And Daphne is just around the corner. Rebecca is a book that certainly read differenly (better) the second time around and after a chunk of years!
Courtney--I had forgotten so many details it was almost like reading it for the first time. I've only read a smattering of her books, but this is my favorite. I plan on reading more. You'll have to let me know what you think after you reread it.
Dorothy--I wonder if she did read Poe. He's certainly been an influence on other writers. I should reread The Fall of the House of Usher now, too. Manderley certainly has a presence in the book. If you took it out, the story would not be the same. Menabilly, where she lived was her inspiration for the house.
Lisa--I plan on reading Shirley Jackson, too. You're right there are interesting similarities. Rebecca is more Gothic than romance in my mind. It's just so well done--I think it is going to be one of my Top reads as well.
Carl--Rebecca does seem pretty unique, doesn't it. That menacing feeling creeps up on you as you read. You can just feel the narrator being crushed psychologically by the idea of Rebecca as the story plays out. And this is definitely one of the best examples I can think of of Gothic and I'm drawn to this type of story as well.
Chartroose--It is a pity that she didn't get the recognition she deserved. I'm so glad Virago has saved her works and continues to publish them. And Mrs Danvers Is villainous--in more ways than one really, since she causes so much destruction. She's also a great short story writer and she can really evoke that same sort of atmosphere. I've loved all the stories I've read by her and hope to read more.


Great review! I adore this book and it was one of the defining reading experience of my early teenage years. I'd love to read it again.


Litlove--This is one that I read when I was younger too, and it stuck with me. I appreciated it in a different way this time around!

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