British Book Database

Rebecca

“Rebecca” is a novel by Daphne du Maurier that delves into themes of identity, memory, and the lingering power of the past. Published in 1938, the story is narrated by a young woman, whose name we never learn, who becomes the second Mrs. de Winter and enters the imposing world of Manderley, a sprawling estate on the English coast.

The narrative begins with the protagonist’s unexpected romance with Maxim de Winter, a wealthy widower whose first wife, Rebecca, has left a formidable legacy. Rebecca’s omnipresence at Manderley is deeply felt, though she is physically absent, creating a complex dynamic for the new Mrs. de Winter as she navigates her new life.

Du Maurier’s novel is noted for its gothic elements, psychological depth, and intricate plot. It explores the psychological ramifications of living in the shadow of a seemingly perfect predecessor and the ways in which the past can infiltrate and shape the present.

The characters are richly developed, and the setting of Manderley is almost a character in itself, adding to the novel’s atmospheric tension. “Rebecca” remains a significant work in 20th-century literature, offering readers a compelling exploration of the darker aspects of human nature and the enduring impact of the past on individual identity.

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