Friday, July 3, 2009

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is Rebecca (1938) by Daphne du Maurier.


"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

You can read a summary of Rebecca at Spark Notes (spoilers).

The novel has inspired 3 other books (approved by the du Maurier estate):

Mrs. de Winter (1993), by Susan Hill, is a sequel.
The Other Rebecca (1996), by Maureen Freely, is a more modern version.
Rebecca's Tale (2001), by Sally Beauman, is a narrative of 4 characters affected by Rebecca.

If you liked Jane Eyre and haven't read Rebecca, then you probably should try it. If you've already read both, did you see similarities between the two books? In your opinion, which one was better?
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