Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (my all time favourite)

If I had to nominate a single favourite book of all time, I think that I would have to nominate Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

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.



8 / 8
One of the best books I have ever read. Everyone should read it - it is totally amazing. I am in love.


Have you read Rebecca and did you love it as much as I did? I have a friend who was so annoyed my the main character that she couldn't love the book, but it didn't stop me. What about you?

22 comments

  1. Love it. That has to be the best opening line ever.

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  2. My intensedebate system seems to have failed and deleted other people's posts so I am going to retype them below

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  3. Mel from The Book Nook said:

    My all time favourite too. I remember it very well and agree with all of your comments about it. I have yet to re-read it. I may not, and just preserve the magical, intoxicating impression it made on me as an early teen.

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  4. Perdita from The Literary Butterfly said:

    Definitely one of my 2 or 3 favourite books of al time, and cone I come back to over and over again. I agree with your friend that the narrator is somewhat irritating – if she just had a bit more gumption there wouldn't even have been a story because she actually only had to ask Maxim one question to stop her from feeling so haunted by his ex-wife! However the writing is wonderful and the descriptions of the Cornish coast as so evocative. I love the way Rebecca seems so real and really does seem to haunt the book even though she died before the beginning of the story. I might have to go and read it again now….

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  5. Mummazappa from The Book Nerd Club said:

    Ok I'm convinced, just added it to my list :-)

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  6. I am so glad that I am not the only one who loved it and that I have convinced someone else to give it a try.

    It is definitely the best opening line I have ever read (closely followed by the opening line of Pride and Prejudice in my humble opinion)

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  7. I love this book also-had an idea for a prequel book-the life of Rebecca before she married-what is her mysterious past?

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  8. I think that someone did write a sequel of it, but I don't read books like that unless they are written by the real author. At the end of the book her past is actually revealed so you find out why it is that everynoe is so obsessed with her

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  9. I adore this book! It's one of the best scary books I've ever read.

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  10. A person in my writers group keeps trying to get me to read this book. I'll definitely put it closer to the top of my list now!
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

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  11. I just started reading it yesterday for the RIP Challenge and cannot put it down. I've been so excited for the fall season - I've had it on my shelf this year waiting for the challenge to begin! I've meant to read it for years, and I'm kicking myself now for now having read it sooner!

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  12. I have to admit, that although I talk about Rebecca haunting the characters, I have never thought about this book as a scary book. Mrs Danvers is definitely evil and creepy, but a scary book..... that's given me food for thought

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  13. I've recently read this novel, it's so vivid. Sometimes narrator annoyed me with her thinking of what other people do in those situations/what they were doing ... I've one question which is nagging me since completing this novel, Didn't hey have Forensic study in those days? If they had, they would find out the bullets in Rebecca's body?

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