Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Genre: Classics/Gothic Romance/Historical Fiction

Source: Bought

Content/Trigger Warnings: For a full list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon:: Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

A young woman finds herself entangled in a gothic mystery after becoming the second wife to the enigmatic Maxim de Winter.

Favorite Quote

“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”


I’ve mentioned before that I have a complicated relationship with classics. Complicated in that I strongly dislike most of the ones I’ve read, but continuing reading them because of the gems I have discovered. So, when Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was picked for the as-yet-unnamed book club with some of my fellow The Write Reads members, I was hesitant, but intrigued. I’ve heard so much about the book and I always have a good time discussing books with the club, so I was in!

If you don’t know, this story follows a young woman who lives as a professional companion. The woman she travels with is teaching her the trade of being a person to talk to, if not so much an interesting one. Then, she meets the mysterious Maxim de Winter, a widower on holiday in Monte Cristo. She falls in madly in love and soon finds herself whisked away to Maxim’s home, Manderley, to become his bride. Once there, however, she feels haunted by the ghost of Maxim’s first wife, the beautiful, witty, and apparently perfect Rebecca.

This a gothic tale that really immerse you in that dark, creepy atmosphere. The tone of this book was absolutely my favorite part about it! It was mysterious and brooding, with just a touch of spookiness that really appealed to me. I loved how the author crafted the story to where a woman who was dead the entire time was basically the main character! It was insidiously done, which made it all the more creepy. The author’s writing overall leant itself well to this gothic story!

I will say the pacing felt a bit off at times. The beginning was a bit of a slog and I probably wouldn’t have gotten through it if it weren’t for the book club! It picked up towards the middle, though there were still points where it seemed as though we had gotten lost in the weeds. Then it practically raced to the end! The end was… unsatisfactory, at best. I knew where it was going and I just wanted more drama than what we got! For a story that had quite a bit of drama throughout, it just felt a little flat and boring to me.

Speaking of ‘flat and boring’, can we talk about the main character cauuuuuuuse… Talk about having exactly zero percent personality. She was basically there as a vessel through which we could learn about Rebecca and the house she had inhabited. Hell, the freakin’ house had more of a personality than she did! I feel like that was probably done on purpose to make Rebecca shine in comparison (that insidious way of making her the main character!), but it made the book a struggle to get through at times. Also, she was prone to flights of fancy and go on these paragraph long tangents that just left me wanting to shake her a bit. Like, ma’am, please focus! Most of the other characters were equally one-dimensional and dull. The only one that came to life on the page beyond the very dead woman (irony!) was Mrs. Danvers and that’s because she was SCARY AS HELL. Still, I wish the narrator had a little more agency and was less there to just tell us the story.

Final thoughts: Though the main character was kind of dull and the pacing a bit off, I still found myself enjoying this classic tale of romantic suspense. The atmosphere was pitch perfect and the way the author crafted the story so that someone we never actually meet has more depth than our narrator was expertly done. Though this wasn’t a favorite, it’s definitely a classic where I understand why people love it so much. If you like drama, suspense, and a perfectly creepy setting, I think you may enjoy this book!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

  1. Lovely review Kerri! Rebecca is a favourite of mine – I love the Gothic atmosphere and creepiness. But I completely agree with you that the narrator is one of the most frustrating characters ever, a total feminist’s nightmare! 📚❤️ X x x

    Liked by 1 person

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