Rebecca

Rebecca

4.5 358
by Daphne du Maurier
     
 

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"Rebecca is a work of immense intelligence and wit, elegantly written, thematically solid, suspenseful.." --Washington Post

"Daphne du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings." --Stephen King

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte CarloSee more details below

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Overview

"Rebecca is a work of immense intelligence and wit, elegantly written, thematically solid, suspenseful.." --Washington Post

"Daphne du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings." --Stephen King

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling read that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Surely no audiobook collection should be without some version of this timeless classic, arguably the most famous and well-loved gothic novel of the 20th century, and this production would be an excellent choice. Read in wonderfully British cadences by Anna Massey, all the mysterious and oppressive nuances are made immediate and chilling. We even feel some sympathy for the absurdly timid and cowering heroine; it is, after all, easy to imagine feeling woefully inferior to the predecessor and desperately eager to please. Of course the story requires great leaps of credulity; imagine a new bride hearing her husband confessing to the cold-blooded killing of his first wife and disposing of her body, and him ultimately getting away with murder, all without turning a hair, glad only to find that he had not even loved the glorious Rebecca so they can live happily ever after. Not how you remember it? Forget the movie; it makes mincemeat of the actual tale. A wise seven-year-old once told me, "The book is always better--it goes right into your head." This is a prime example--listen again; it gets even better. Highly recommended.--Harriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Internet Bookwatch
Anna Massey's dramatic voice provides just the right degree of drama and tension for Rebecca, the psychological story of a young woman's confrontations with a remote employer, a hostile housekeeper, and the ghost of a past wife. The unabridged presentation allows for full appreciation of Du Maurier's works and subtlety: highly recommended.
Trudi Miller Rosenblum
Narrator Anna Massey does a goodjob of evoking both the insecure, shy persona of the heroine and the older-but-wiser attitude of her later self, who is looking back and telling the story. She also varies her voice appropriately for the different characters.
Billboard
Deirdre Donahue
Published in 1938 Rebecca was a spectacular novel. It later became a fabulous movie starring Joan Fontaine and Lawerence Olivier. And now it is a breathtaking audiotape.

Ann Massey does justice to the frightened young bride and her enemy, the brooding housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who raised Rebecca... How good is this audiotape? Well, even if you've read the book, seen the movie and know the dark secret that lies at the center of the plot, it still will chill and fascinate you. And for those who come to the audio innocent, well, use cation when driving.
USA Today

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316323703
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
12/17/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
8,442
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Last Night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited.

No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and tuning as it had always done, but as I advanced I was aware that a change had come upon it; it was narrow and unkept, not the drive that we had known At first I was puzzled and did not understand, and it was only when I bent my head to avoid the low swinging branch of a tree that I realised what had happened. Nature had come into her own again and little by, little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive with long tenacious fingers. The woods, always a menace even in the past, had triumphed in the end. They crowded, dark and uncontrolled, to the borders of the drive. The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another, their branches intermingled in a strange embrace, making a vault above my head like the archway of a church. And there were other trees as well, trees that I did not recognise, squat oaks and tortured elms that straggled cheek by jowl with the beeches, and had thrust themselves out of the quiet earth, along with monster shrubs and plants,none of which I remembered.

The drive was a ribbon now, a thread of its former self, with gravel surface gone, and choked with grass and moss. The trees had thrown out low branches, making an impediment to progress; the gnarled roots looked like skeleton claws. Scattered here and again amongst this jungle growth I would recognise shrubs that had been land-marks in our time, things of culture and of grace, hydrangeas whose blue heads had been famous. No hand had chocked their progress, and they had gone native now, rearing to monster height without a bloom, black and ugly as the nameless parasites that grew beside them.

On and on, now east, now west, wound the poor thread that once had been our drive. Sometimes I thought it lost, but it appeared again, beneath a fallen tree perhaps or struggling on the other side of a muddied ditch created by the winter rains. I had not thought the way so long. Surely the miles had multiplied, even as the trees had done, and this path led but to a labyrinth, some choked wilderness, and not to the house at all. I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions, and I stood, my heart thumping in my breast, the strange prick of tears behind my eyes.

There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and the terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, not the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.

The terrace sloped to the lawns, and the lawns stretched to the sea, and turning I could see the sheet of silver, placid under the moon, like a lake undisturbed by wind or storm. No waves would come to ruffle this dream water, and no bulk of cloud, wind-driven from the west, obscure the clarity of this pale sky. I turned again to the house, and though it stood inviolate, untouched, as though we ourselves had left but yesterday, I saw that the garden had obeyed the jungle law, even as the woods had done. The rhododendrons stood fifty feet high, twisted and entwined with bracken, and they had entered into alien marriage with a host of nameless shrubs, poor, bastard things. that clung about their roots as though conscious of their spurious origin. A lilac had mated with a copper beech, and to bind them yet more closely to one another the malevolent ivy, always an enemy to grace, had thrown her tendrils about the pair and made them prisoners. Ivy held prior place in this lost garden, the long strands crept across the lawns, and soon would encroach upon the house itself. There was another plant too, some halfbreed from the woods, whose seed had been scattered long ago beneath the trees and then forgotten, and now, marching in unison with the ivy, thrust its ugly form like a giant rhubarb towards the soft grass where the daffodils had blown.

Nettles were everywhere, the van-guard of the army. They choked the terrace, they sprawled, about the paths, they leant, vulgar and lanky, against the very windows of the house. They made indifferent sentinels, for in many places their ranks had been broken by the rhubarb plant, and they lay with crumpled heads and listless stems, making a pathway for the rabbits. I left the drive and went on to the terrace, for the nettles were no barrier to me, a dreamer, I walked enchanted, and nothing held me back.

Moonlight can play odd tricks upon the fancy, even upon a dreamer's fancy. As I stood there, hushed and still, I could swear that the house was not an empty shell but lived and breathed as it had lived before.

Rebecca. Copyright © by Daphne Du Maurier. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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