"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"
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.
Rebecca, a supposedly kind woman who marries a rich and powerful man, Maxim, is the victim of a homicide that has yet to be solved. The story is told from Maxim's new wife's perpective as she discovers more about him in the present but also in the past. While the new wife struggles to adjust to the life at Manderley that Rebecca once owned, she learns many secrets about the people involved in her life.
There are two main themes explored in the book. The first one being women and their identities. This is shown mainly through the new life of the narrator (Maxim's new wife) and how she struggles to adapt to a wealthier lifestyle than she is used to. Rebecca is also an example of women and their identities, however her true identity is hidden by her fake kindness towards everybody but Maxim. Rebecca and the new wife hold very different identities in that Rebecca was an outgoing and confident person who was noticed and loved by others, whereas the new wife is shy, more reserved and could be described as an outsider in the higher level of society. The other theme that is explored in the book is status' in society. When a new wife is brought into the wealthy status, she finds it difficult to adjust to her surroundings and the people such as servants, who are forced to work for her.
I would recommend Rebecca to people at least 15 and over as it has a high level of description and literature. It requires concentration as it is a slow paced book that reveals an unexpected ending. I enjoyed reading this book however I found that it got boring at times because of the amount of description and the pace of the events in the book.