This was the sixth book I read for the RIP V Challenge. Because I don’t want to get too far behind in writing these reviews, I decided to review all my RIP books by answering the 5Ws―Who, What, When, Where, Why. (This book also counts for the 100 Best Books part of the Take Another Chance Challenge.)
Scare-O-Meter Rating: 5 screams out of 10
WHAT is this book about?
Although I doubt I need to recount the plot as I’m probably one of the few people who hadn’t read this book before 2010, I’ll write it like an equation, with appropriately creepy black and white photos from the Hitchcock movie.
÷ divided by
X multiplied by
A wonderfully creepy story of misunderstandings, secrets and murrrrddddeeeer.
WHO do we meet?
- The second Mrs. DeWinter is a naive, innocent young woman who is working as a companion for an insufferably snobby woman when she meets ….
- Maximilian DeWinter, a wealthy older man who is vacationing in Monte Carlo. He seems tortured by something, and the rumors are that he’s never been able to get over the death of his first wife…
- Rebecca, a gorgeous, spirited free-spirit who seemed to charm everyone around her. However, her life was cut short after she drowned tragically in the sea that borders …
- Manderley, the huge country estate owned by Max DeWinter. This is where the second Mrs. DeWinter and Max live after their quickie wedding and honeymoon. But poor Mrs. DeWinter! She is so young and has no experience running a big household like Manderley. Good thing she has the help of…
- Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper who seems abnormally devoted to the first Mrs. DeWinter.
WHEN and WHERE does the book take place?
The story takes place primarily at Manderley. I believe the time frame is the late 1930s when DuMaurier wrote the book.
WHY should you read this book?
Well, I suspect you already have! I’m the latecomer to this party. When I posted my list of RIP books, almost everyone commented about how much they loved Rebecca. I loved it too! It is one of the few “classics” that really lived up to the hype. DuMaurier does a fantastic job of slowly building up the dread and suspense. You get inside the second Mrs. DeWinter’s mind and you just squirm and feel this sense of impending doom. Everywhere she goes, it is Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca. And she is so innocent and trusting that she bumbles along getting herself deeper and deeper enmeshed in the secrets of Manderley. I read somewhere when I was Googling around for the images used above, that Rebecca is really more of a psychological haunting than a physical haunting, and I thought that was a fantastic description. If, like me, you bypassed this book for all these years, be sure to rectify this. You’ll be glad you did! (And I’m so going to check out the Hitchcock movie version!)
What are other book bloggers saying about this book? Find out at the Book Blogs Search Engine.