Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Review: A young woman meets an older wealthy widow and they get married. They go back to Manderley, his large English estate, where the memory of his late wife (who died only a year ago) seems to be everywhere.
'Rebecca' has a wonderful storyline. An unnamed young, naive woman falls for a wealthy, older man. After a whirlwind honeymoon, they move to Manderley, his large estate. The new Mrs. Winter has difficulty settling into her new life as she is surrounded by a sinister servant, a distant husband, and a feeling that Rebecca (the first Mrs. Winter) is felt everywhere. When Mrs. Winter discovers the true details of Rebecca's death, how will she react and how will it affect her marriage?
While 'Rebecca' is well written, it is extremely slow and boring. Most of the book is thoughts and feelings inside the narrators head. There are very few true interactions with other people. Perhaps if the narrator had a strong personality and was vivacious, this would have been okay, but instead she is weak and spineless. I'm still not sure if she was in love with Max or if she just wanted to escape her life and was in love with the life he could provide her with. Mrs. Danver's (the villainous servant who loved Rebecca and seemed to hate the new Mrs. Winters) was certainly a pain but not as sinister as she could be. Why she was allowed to continue to work at Manderley is beyond comprehension. There were several instances where she should have been fired, most notably the dress incident. **Spoiler Alert** I think what I found most shocking was Mrs. Winter's reaction to finding out her husband murdered his first wife. She was actually happy/relieved that he didn't love Rebecca and wanted to help him cover it up. Um, say what?! He killed someone. Wouldn't you be the slighted bit worried that if you made him made he might snap and kill you? She had no such reservations.
Overall, this is a very well-written novel albeit extremely boring. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, but I can see why this is required reading for most high school English classes.