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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley againWorking as a lady s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs DanversNot since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity 5 This story was so enthralling and unputdownable that it deserves muchthan five starsLast night I dreamt I went to Manderley againone of thefamous first lines from literature This book follows our unnamed heroine as she travels from Monte Carlo to Manderley and immerses herself in the lives of Maxim de Winter and the ghosts from his past.This was gripping from start to finish You find yourself so drawn into our unnamed narrator, her emotions, her turbulences, that you 5 This story was so enthralling and unputdownable that it deserves muchthan five starsLast night I dreamt I went to Manderley againone of thefamous first lines from literature This book follows our unnamed heroine as she travels from Monte Carlo to Manderley and immerses herself in the lives of Maxim de Winter and the ghosts from his past.This was gripping from start to finish You find yourself so drawn into our unnamed narrator, her emotions, her turbulences, that you feel everything she experiences throughout the book Reading this book I felt anger, dread in the pit of my stomach, grief that was almost heartbreaking, the butterflies of love and fun enjoyment The book ensnares you into its web that you too are caught up in the lives of those at Manderley It is fascinating to go on this journey with the narrator as she develops in to her own character and self identity I found that she was naive yet strong, self doubting yet brave Even in times when she thinks she is at her weakest she is still fierce and raises up to face the challenge, even if it takes some time.At first our unnamed heroine is the lowly companion of the snobbish Mrs Van Hopper On a trip to the south of France she meets Max de Winter, a handsome and mysterious widower, whereupon she spends her days with him It is clear she is enamoured by him,I remember laughing aloud, and the laughing carried by the wind from me and, looking at him, I realised he laughed no longer, he was oncesilent and detached, the man of yesterday wrapped in his secret self , he is a multifaceted character, a mystery to be solved, she is drawn to him and quickly falls in love.Our unnamed narrator has a bleak future until a proposal of marriage from Max takes her by surprise You don t understand I m not the sort of person men marry From here she is whisked away to the brooding Manderley, a place so overbearing and different from our narrators upbringing that there is a sharp contrast between the two Upon their arrival at Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man In Manderley, the narrator uncovers and unravelsabout the beautiful Rebecca, Max s dead wife Rebecca s memory is kept alive by Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper, with reminders throughout Manderley of Rebecca s never ending and never forgotten presence Rebecca is described as beautiful, intelligent, outspoken and confident everything that our narrator is not Rebecca is almost a magical creature, a goddess, something forbidden that the narrator is unbearably tempted to find out , obsessive and jealous of this woman She feeds her paranoia by imagining scenarios of what others must think of her as the new Mrs de Winter how little and worthless they must say she is in comparison to RebeccaShe s so different from Rebecca Through the course of the book the narrator confirms to herself that she does not fit in with her new expected lifestyle she makes friends with the house maid and often does things alone, something which conflicts with the convention of how the wife of Mr de Winter should behave This further fuels our narrators feelings of being an outcast, self doubt and anxietyI had not the pride, I had not the guts I was badly bred The book details clearly Mrs Danvers obsession and affection for Rebecca When Rebecca died she is devastated and angry at Max s behaviour She sets out to reinforce Rebecca s memory to the staff, to Max and to the new Mrs de Winter through cold and manipulative ways Mrs Danvers would be described as the villain of this novel withher eyes, dark and sombre, in that white face of hers It is clear from the start that Mrs Danvers does not like the new Mrs De Winter and is cruel,The expression on her face, loathsome, triumphant.The face of an exulting devil She stood there,smiling at me Through these cruel interactions with Mrs Danvers, the loneliness, the self doubt and Max s cold hearted behaviour, our narrator faces something that no one in love wants to face or admit toWe re not meant for happiness, you and I This book was so brilliantly fleshed out Daphne Du Maurier does a brilliant job at describing the characters, their emotions, their body movements, their tone of voice, that these characters are so life like and real I absolutely loved some of the secondary characters in this book Mr Crawley, the faithful companion to Max de Winter, a true gentleman and friend to our narrator, and the loveable Ben, the simple minded man that stays on the beach who is muchperceptive than anyone gives him credit for These characters were so well thought out and planned and were interwoven into the plot magnificently.In addition, the description of Manderley was so well done, from the Happy Valley of flowers to the cold, steel grey sea, you felt yourself immersed in the settings, so wonderfully described that you could almost touch them.Overall this book is so muchthan a gothic romance It covers scandal, lies, love, the other woman, jealousy and self identity A very highly enjoyable read that I wish I could turn back time so that I could experience the book as a first time read all over again Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.This is one of thefamous lines in literature certainly it belongs in the same conversation as Call me Ishmael Even to people who have never read the book or seen the excellent movie by Alfred Hitchcock might have a glimmer of recognition at the mention of a place called Manderley Daphne du Maurier leased a place called Menabilly which became the basis for the fictional Manderley Aren t we glad she changed the name Just say Manderley a few Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.This is one of thefamous lines in literature certainly it belongs in the same conversation as Call me Ishmael Even to people who have never read the book or seen the excellent movie by Alfred Hitchcock might have a glimmer of recognition at the mention of a place called Manderley Daphne du Maurier leased a place called Menabilly which became the basis for the fictional Manderley Aren t we glad she changed the name Just say Manderley a few times and then say Menabilly a few times If you are like me you linger over the vowels and consonants of Manderley and with Menabilly you just want it off your tongue as quickly as possible Daphne du Maurier on the staircase at MenabillyThe narrator, a young woman of 21, is never formally introduced to us She is a companion for an odious American woman named Mrs Van Hoppers They are in Monte Carlo and when Mrs Van Hoppers comes down with an illness inspiredby boredom than by a virus or bacteria our narrator finds herself free to spend time with the widower Maximilian de Winter He is famous, but his house, Manderley is evenfamous Parties on a Gatsby scale, beautiful landscaping, and of course the architecture of a grand English estate have made Manderley a most coveted invitation Laurence Olivier as Maximilian de WinterAfter a whirlwind romance, the dashing de Winter sweeps the impressionable young lady off her feet, pries her loose from the services of Mrs Van Hoppers, and marries her He is distant, moody, and yet charminglike a father, he is 42, than a husband, but our young heroine is enad with the idea of being the mistress of Manderley Now she has a name, Mrs de Winter, and maybe to add a bit of obscurity to an already anemic personality du Maurier never shares her given name with us Daphne du Maurier and children at Menabilly the inspiration for ManderleyDaphne du Maurier comes from a famous family Her grandfather was the famous writer and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier Her father was a prominent stage manager named Sir Gerald du Maurier and her mother was the actress Muriel Beaumont Daphne hadbreeding, brains, and beauty which is used in reference to the character Rebecca as well, and luckily du Maurier chose to dowith this trilogy of assets than the character Du Maurier married Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Boy Browning whose exploits during Operation Market Garden were made into a film A Bridge too Far.The newly minted Mrs de Winter arrives at Manderley with nervous excitement She is well aware of her shortcomings She is too shy, too young, too trusting, and though she is pretty she can not compete with the legendary Rebecca de Winter and her haunting beautyRebecca, always Rebecca Wherever I walked in Manderley, wherever I sat, even in my thought and in my dreams, I met Rebecca I knew her figure now, the long slim legs, the small and narrow feet Her shoulders broader than mine, the capable clever hands Hands that could steer a boat, could hold a horse Hands that arranged flowers, made the models of ships, and wrote Max from Rebecca on the fly leaf of a book I knew her face too, small and oval, the clear white skin, the cloud of dark hair I knew the scent she wore, I could guess her laughter and her smile If I heard it, even among a thousand others, I should recognise her voice Rebecca, always Rebecca I should never be rid of Rebecca Waiting for Mrs de Winter is the number one fan and torchbearer of Rebecca, Mrs Danvers Despite the best efforts of our young lady, she is fighting a losing battle trying to win over Mrs Danvers by being deferential Mrs Danvers is loyal to the ghostly presence of Rebecca even to the point of preserving her room and possessions as they were when she was alive Thethat the new Mrs de Winter concedes the less respect she feels she has to show to the new mistress of the house Mrs Danvers played by Judith Anderson and Mrs de Winter played by Joan Fontaine in the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock movieWe stood there by the door, staring at one another I could not take my eyes away from hers How dark and sombre they were in that white skull s face of hers, how malevolent, how full of hatred You will feel yourself wanting to cheer as our heroine begins to gain confidence and as she begins to grow into her role we see Mrs Danvers start to diminish and with her the haunting presence of Rebecca Of course just as things start to go right, things start to go very wrong I was really surprised to learn that an edition of Rebecca was used as the key to a code book by the Germans during World War Two It is not believed that the book was ever used for passing information because a captured radio section made the Germans suspect that the book, as a code, had been compromised Ken Follett used this idea in his book The Key to Rebecca Other influences of possibly du Maurier s most famous character creation, show up in Stephen King s Bag of Bones when Mrs Danvers is portrayed as the boogeyman Jasper Ffordes clones an army of Mrs Danvers in his Thursday Next series that sends a chill down the backs of the characters of those books There is much made of flowers and landscaping in this book The English do love their rose gardens and when my backyard is in full bloom it is without reservation that I can share how much pleasure looking at and moving among that bounty of blooms gives meNo wild flowers came in the house at Manderley He had special cultivated flowers, grown for the house alone, in the walled garden A rose was one of the few flowers, he said, that looked better picked than growing A bowl of roses in a drawing room had a depth of colour and scent they had not possessed in the open There was something rather blowsy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair In the house they became mysterious and subtleDaphne du MaurierYou will feel the building tension as du Maurier drops hints of something sinister surrounding the walls of Manderley For me, the sign of a well written book is the fact that I was on the edge of my seat despite having watched the movie several times I was ensnared by the plot, feeling the same anxiety for the characters that I would have if they had been living breathing creatures in my own sphere of the universe The character studies explored in this book have turned out to be an important addition to the hall of fame of literary characters You will not forget Mrs Danver s spiteful, insidious behavior or the tortured, Heathcliffesque Maximilian de Winter or the numerous supporting cast that adds color and substance to the shadows of the plot If you like gothic romance with your cup of Earl Grey you will find this book an indispensable part of your library, kept ready to hand for those days when you want to be swept away from a dreary sky and a rain splattered windowThe road to Manderley lay ahead There was no moon The sky above our heads was inky black But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea Check out my book and movie reviews at Well this is awkward So, most of my friends love this book Naturally, I wanted to as well I blame the herd mentality Baaah Did I love this book At times, yes Did I also loathe this book At times, yes It s made deciding on a rating a muchdaunting task than I normally face After reflecting on it for some time, and re reading my f bomb laden notes, I m going with two stars, because as a whole, I did not enjoy this While I greatly detested some aspects, I can still recognize gorgeou Well this is awkward So, most of my friends love this book Naturally, I wanted to as well I blame the herd mentality Baaah Did I love this book At times, yes Did I also loathe this book At times, yes It s made deciding on a rating a muchdaunting task than I normally face After reflecting on it for some time, and re reading my f bomb laden notes, I m going with two stars, because as a whole, I did not enjoy this While I greatly detested some aspects, I can still recognize gorgeous prose when I see it Honestly, I almost gave this three stars for the writing alone, because it s so beautiful that it becomes distracting, and when you pair this with a hauntingly gothic setting MagicNature had come into her own again and, little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive with long, tenacious fingers What ruined this for me were the attitudes and the actions of those depicted within it I m not one of those readers that have to love characters to enjoy a story or appreciate its message There have been quite a few instances where I ve rated a book highly even when I hated every single person in it That s because while I didn t necessarily agree with what they were doing, or their thought processes, I understood them on some level Sadly, this is not the case with Rebecca The female lead, who is also the narrator, is left without a name throughout Upon reading the afterward, I m wondering if that s because it would have been all too obvious if the author had named her Daphne She is the very definition of a Mary Sue, taking almost entirely after the person who created her But, for the sake of this review, let s call the MC Not Cory I think it has a catchy ring to it It s also fitting, as she is the complete and total opposite of me in almost every way imaginable When the book opens, Not Cory is reflecting on her life, and the remaining pages focus on the events she s reliving It all begins in Monte Carlo, with her as the companion to a tactless and garish woman of means A chance encounter has her bumping into a wealthy Englishman named Maxim de Winter, a man twenty years her senior and recently widowed What follows is a whirlwind courtship set against the backdrop of the south of France Sounds lovely, doesn t it Er, not so much This part of the book served as nothingthan a reminder of how foolish first love can make us My hat is off to Du Maurier for her flawless portrayal of this time in our lives, when your future is spread out in front of you and all your fantasies still seem tangible What made it that muchdifficult to read was the MC Not Cory is a dreamer she lives largely inside of her head, and the smallest thing, from her companion choosing to host a cocktail party, to the rising of the sun, can send her mind spinning as she plays out the infinite consequences of these things This tendency becomes obsessive when Maxim enters the picture Where she is both immature and na ve, he is complicated and divided Her happiness becomes dependent on his smiles, her misery decided by a harsh word Thanks to their age difference, he s forgotten what this is like, how raw and all consuming first love can be, and he s careless with her feelings because of it He takes complete advantage of her throughout, and I hated him almost from the point of his introduction The singular reason that he s even attracted to her at all is because view spoiler she is the antithesis of his late wife hide spoiler So I m sorry to all the Maxim shippers, but I can find nothing redeeming or romantic about an older man who so casually mistreats his innocent young wife Not Cory might be na ve, but she s not an utter fool Her introspectiveness makes her a keen observer, and even in their early days together, she realizes that something isn t right between her and Maxim She senses it should be different, has premonitions of what s to come After their honeymoon, they head home, to Manderley where all becomes clear Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca REBECCA The dead wife She s there with them, always Both the servants of the household, and the surrounding villagers preferred her and her outgoing nature, her wild parties, the way she could draw one out of themselves and make them feel as though they were a trusted friend, to Not Cory and her shy, withdrawn nature It doesn t help matters that she was tall, gorgeous, refined, and well bred, and that almost everyone Not Cory meets feels the need to remind her of this She feels Rebecca hanging over her marriage like a ghoul, dogging her steps throughout her new home, distracting and beguiling her husband from beyond the grave So it s understandable that after a few short weeks at Manderley, Not Cory begins to further withdraw from her surroundings, turnintrospective, begin to question everything about her marriage and the man she s attached herself to At this point, the book turns into a slow motion train wreck You see how easily she s manipulated by the aging Mrs Danvers, Rebecca s old maid, by her husband, by the others around her, and you just want to shake her out of it Instead of character progression, you get regression, and watching it all unfold is frustrating to say the least I kept waiting for her to grow a spine, for her to start questioning things, to stand up for herself Sadly, this never happens And all the while, there s Maxim, patting her head like a dog if she pleases him, frowning and becoming withdrawn if she doesn t I saw too many signs of a perfect victim within his wife, and it greatly disturbed me She became constantly aware of his moods, adjusted her own behaviors to compensate for them, steered conversations if she worried that they might be heading down roads that might upset him Maxim, Maxim, Maxim, Maxim, MAXIMLess than half of the way through, I had every single plot twist unraveled It made for a rather anticlimactic finish, and I found myself skimming through large sections of Not Cory s infuriatingly weak inner monologue The biggest revelation of them all almost caused me to rage quit, but I had come too far view spoiler Maxim reveals that his first wife didn t drown He killed her And instead of being horrified, Not Cory is insanely happy Because he never loved her FUCKING WHAT hide spoiler Then there was another reveal, which I didn t buy at all because of all the things I ve previously discussed in regards to Maxim view spoiler He tells Not Cory he loves her It s almost laughable He treated her as if she were an errant child throughout the entire book He even called her a child repeatedly, and condescended to her about it Ugh He did not once until that point show herthan a passing kindness and nothing in his manner ever, EVER spoke of love or any strong emotion at all hide spoiler In closing, I don t get the hype I don t think that this is remarkable or groundbreaking, and I don t even think it should be classified as a romance I think many of the themes are merely reused and reworked from earlier gothic novels, primarily Jane Eyre In fact, this has such a remarkable amount of similarities to it, that I ll be reading it next, and I plan on coming back and adding a section about my findings.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest This is it THE delicious, curl up next to the fire under a blanket with tea book THE windowsill on a rainy day with your pet book THE stay up all night book A chill goes down your spine but in a good way while reading it It is a masterpiece of gothic literature, the inheritor of the tradition of novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre I d call it the 20th Century Jane Eyre, actually, with a modernist twist It is written so that the characters and events come to seem quite believabl This is it THE delicious, curl up next to the fire under a blanket with tea book THE windowsill on a rainy day with your pet book THE stay up all night book A chill goes down your spine but in a good way while reading it It is a masterpiece of gothic literature, the inheritor of the tradition of novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre I d call it the 20th Century Jane Eyre, actually, with a modernist twist It is written so that the characters and events come to seem quite believable in the context even while they slowly make the hairs on the back of your necks stand on end Whether you re generally a fan of mystery, romance or thrillers, this book is quite simply a delicious read