"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." goes one of the most famous first lines in the history of the English novel. I read Rebecca during the holidays and loved it so much I couldn't wait to write about it! It was so gripping I couldn't put the book down! I read about it in The "Big Read": Book of Books (The Nation's 100 Favourite Books) but couldn't find a copy here in Manila so I got mine in Singapore (at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City.) I'm defenitely putting Rebecca in my BEST BOOKS EVER READ list.
The novel starts with a nameless narrator who talks about her experience as a paid companion. While accompanying her employer on a vacation in the French Riviera she meets a rich man Max de Winter who offers her marriage after a brief courtship and takes her to his estate in England called Manderley. It seemed like a fairy tale love story and could have ended right there but that was just the beginning. At Manderley our narrator learns about her new husband's former wife Rebecca who died suddenly and whose spirit still lives on at Manderley...
|Daphne du Maurier|
At the center of the novel is Manderley, where the narrator takes us at the beginning of the novel. Manderley is fictional but it was inspired by Du Maurier's home at Menabilly in Cornwall.
Leased by du Maurier for several years
Inspiration for Manderley
I think working wives will relate with Du Maurier when she wrote Rebecca with its 2 sides. She was married to an army general which required her to perform some obligations. At the same time she also had her career in writing. Rebecca was a reflection of her struggle to meet the demands of both these roles, a struggle that is becoming more common with the times as more women join the work force. In this sense I felt Rebecca was rather ahead of its time.
I found this du Maurier website for further reading, very interesing!
I also found this film of Rebecca in 1979 Starring Jeremy Brett and Joana David. Enjoy!