I first fell in love with this book when I read it as an assigned text in high school English, and I have fallen in love with it over and over again with every re-read.
From the opening line "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again", to the closing line "And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea" the lyrical quality of the language gives this book an almost ethereal tone that sends shivers down my spine.
Rebecca is everything you could want in a book. It is dramatic. It is romantic. The writing is emotive. The landscape is beautiful. The characters and the plot are compelling.
The story of Rebecca is told through flashbacks from the perspective of a woman who marries a much older man, Maxim de Winter, owner of the famous country house Manderley. After their world wind roman and travels through Europe they return to Manderley as husband and wife. Once there, however, they find themselves haunted by a past they can't escape.
All the characters in Rebecca are in some way haunted by the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca, who it is believed passed away in a boating accident shortly before the events in this book.
The entire book revolves around the mysterious Rebecca and each of the characters unique obsessions with her, and it is this that gives the book a disturbing psychological element.
Although none of the characters are particularly likable, all of them are the most real characters I have ever read. I feel as though I know them as well as I know my friends.
I have never read another book where the scenery and characters come alive to the extent that they do in Rebecca. It is a beautiful piece of work and one that I recommend to everyone, especially to those that love lyrical writing and a compelling story.