Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Okay everyone: If you’re looking for an accessible classic, this immersive, lyrical and suspenseful psychological thriller is the way to go!


Okay everyone: If you’re looking for an accessible classic, this immersive, lyrical and suspenseful psychological thriller is the way to go!

Photo by Enric Cruz Lu00f3pez on

About the Book

Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Published: 1938

Genre: classics, mystery/thriller, Gothic/horror

Rating: 5/5 stars

“It wouldn’t make for sanity would it, living with the devil.”

Before we begin: our main character has no name, so for convenience and grammatical flow I shall henceforth be referring to her as Sally.

Sally begins the book as a wallflower working for a socialite in Monte Carlo, when she happens to meet a rich and mysterious guy named Maxim whose wife, Rebecca, died the year before. They fall in love and get married, and he takes her away from her terrible job to live with him at his huge estate, Manderley.

At first, seduced by the idyllic whirlwind romance, Sally is happy… but something isn’t quite right at Manderley. Maxim is acting strange, the malevolent head housekeeper of Manderley seems to harbor nothing but ill will for Sally, and most of all, she can’t seem to shake the legacy of Rebecca…

Rebecca, always Rebecca. Wherever I walked in Manderley, wherever I sat, even in my thoughts and in my dreams, I met Rebecca.

First of all, I found it interesting that Sally has no name. I spent a lot of the book thinking about this unique stylistic choice, because I don’t think I’ve read a book where the main character wasn’t named. It had the effect of making Sally’s narration feel like your own. Like you, yourself, were monologuing about this creepy house and crazy story and brooding husband.

The writing in Rebecca is incredibly immersive, and I can’t wait to read more books by Daphne du Maurier. Even the most benign scenes in the book were laced with a vaguely unsettling atmosphere, and in the most suspenseful scenes the tension was palpable. This is what made the book so good: every time I opened my Kindle, I felt like I was re-entering the world of the story and got this intense feeling of foreboding at even the most innocuous details.

And as for details, there were lots. Du Maurier writes vividly about the scenery and surroundings of her story, so I could clearly visualize everything that was happening.

There were an underlying themes of jealousy, revenge, being haunted by the past, among others that I can’t really explain without straying into spoiler territory, but it was a really thought-provoking read that will stick with me.

Spoiler Review

If you’ve already read this book and want to check out my more spoiler-y thoughts on it, find my spoiler-tagged Goodreads review here!

Book Recommendation

I’d recommend this one to everyone who likes a good psychological thriller, and anyone who enjoys lyrical and descriptive prose.


I thought this was almost like a more exciting version of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, so that’s the read-alike I’ll choose for today’s review.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Have you read Rebecca?

18 comments on “Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier”

    1. Nice! Yes, if you like the Gothic parts of Jane Eyre you will probably really enjoy this book because they have a very similar vibe. It’s kind of like Jane Eyre but more emphasis on the mystery/thriller/horror part than on the romance. I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! It was really impressive actually because I barely even noticed until about halfway through when I thought wait… what is her name actually? And she still managed to characterize the main character even without a name. It was interesting

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You should read it, if you want! It isn’t overly violent or anything, more of an atmospheric creepiness book. For me it was just the right amount of unsettling. There’s also the romance aspect to it, and it kind of feels like historical fiction since it was written so long ago. If you’ve watched the show Downton Abbey, I’ve seen someone call this Downton Abbey but just a bit darker. Thanks for reading!


  1. I’m rereading and had not remembered she was not named. I wonder also if not naming her was about showing her lack of power first her servant then a kept woman. And also she became 2nd Mrs Winter so was the idea she was just a replacement for a lost wife rather than a person in own right?

    Liked by 1 person

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