CLASSIC OF THE DAY: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

”A work of immense intelligence and wit, elegantly written, thematically solid, suspenseful.” —Washington Post

”Daphne du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings.” —Stephen King

'Du Maurier is in a class by herself.” —New York Times

This riveting tale of fear, suspicion, and love opens as the unnamed narrator reminisces about her former home, the grand English estate, Manderley. She had been young and shy, a lady’s companion, when she met the wealthy recent widow, Maxim de Winter, fell in love with him, and married him in a matter of weeks. They returned to his home, where she was immediately overwhelmed with the responsibilities of running the house and dealing with her forbidding housekeeper as well as the memory of Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca. She had been beautiful, sophisticated, and supremely confident, and the narrator felt lost and helpless in comparison. Her new husband was strangely distant to her, until a horrible secret was revealed that would change their lives and the very existence of Manderley.

Daphne Du Maurier has crafted a wonderfully spooky story with remarkably little action, but a great deal of atmosphere and a steadily mounting feeling of impending doom. The ravishing Rebecca is never seen, and yet she is the main character, dominating the story with her passions and cruelty. Another main “character” is the great house itself, which is described in such fascinating detail that [we] felt as if [we] had walked its long hallways, descended its grand stairs, and had tea in the library. The narrator is purposely kept anonymous to contrast her with the larger-than-life Rebecca, and Maxim is a seriously flawed but lovable man.

[We] recommend… Rebecca to those who enjoy exciting tales of suspense, psychological dramas, and mysteries.

by Guest Reviewer Kona

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This 20s era gown was first seen in 1997 on Emilia Fox as the second Mrs.deWinter in the mini-series Rebecca. . It was seen again more recently in 2014 on Lily James as Lady Rose in the Downton Abbey sketch for ITV;s Christmas charity, Text Santa, which you can watch here.

Costume Credit: Shrewsbury Lasses

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