April 1, 2011

Rebecca - An Immortal Masterpiece of Mystery

Young Daphne du Maurier (about 1930) WikipediaIf there is a book that I could read again and again, it is Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. I was obsessed with this book over 20 years ago, always wanted to write a review, but never get a chance. Now it's the time.

Rebecca is a story about a young lady who by chance marries a wealthy man, Maxim de Winter, the owner of a stately estate known as "Manderley". "Rebecca" is the name of ex-wife of Mr. de Winter, who died mysteriously prior to story starts. Most of story is about happenings taking place during the young lady's new life in Manderly.

Rebecca is a mystery, for the mysterious death of Rebecca. Rebecca is died, yet is still "alive" among people who know her. Her extreme beauty, aristocratic manner, sophisticate social skill, and her tremendous influence to people - from servants to high class circles, inflict new mistress' daily life. The young lady faces incredible challenge, both from the hostility of household - who still holds loyalty toward the ex-mistress, and her lack of confidence about her poor family background.

Many people believe that this book is all about Rebecca - a ghostly figure who affects lives, but I totally disagree. Rebecca is all about the young lady (narrator) herself - how she from a naive student, a "Cinderella" like poor girl, becomes a mature, confidence and courageous Mrs. de Winter.

The story was told by narrator, occasionally jumps between past and present. The depiction is extremely beautiful and contemplative, naturally draws you into the nightmarish past, sharing the narrator's amazing psychological adventure - how she eventually gains confidence, conquers her inner fear by strength of love.

Yes, Rebecca is a mystery, but not mystery of death, nor of a murder, it's a mystery of life, a life of reborn. For me, it is an immortal masterpiece of mystery ever created.
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