A dear friend, who has read a lot more than I have and is maybe a tad harder to impress, recommended this to me. Since I know “if she likes it, it MUST be good”, I bought it immediately, started it immediately, and finished within a couple of days. Even with a newborn! It’s haunting setting and mysterious characters kept me guessing and turning pages, making faces and gasping all the way. I must have been quite the sight. But it’s not the plot that made me love it; in fact, the plot is a tad dark for my taste. The real gem here is Mrs. Du Maurier’s way with words. I loved her descriptions. Here is one of my favorites, found in the first few pages, describing an unscrupulous benefactor:
“It seemed as though notables must be fed to her, much as invalids are spooned their jelly; and though titles were preferred by her, any face once seen in a social paper served as well… Tact was a quality unknown to her, discretion too, and because gossip was the breath of life to her this stranger must be served for her dissection.”
This book teems with mood and ambience. Pass on it if you aren’t a fan of mystery or suspense. Pick it up if you are big on great writing and an absorbing setting.all.
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.
The material isn’t lewd or overtly inappropriate, but the subject matter is serious enough that this should be considered before giving it to a minor. (SPOILERS ALERT!) The story involves a widower, hauntings, the idea of “ghosts”, revenge, a murder and has an over all tense and suspenseful feel.