Rebecca, a dark psychological tale of secrets and betrayal, is Daphne du Maurier's best-loved work and was named Best Novel of the 20th Century at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention.
After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.
Admittedly, there are many classics that I have not read and REBECCA was always at the top of my To Read list. I chose the audio version because I knew it would go faster as I was already reading two paper books at the time. First, let me say the narrator, Anna Massey, did an outstanding job with all of the characters in the book. Her subtle voice of Mrs. de Winter and her commanding voice of many of the other players show her versatility for this audio. Her voice is perfectly suited for this type of book and the locale of England. I really enjoyed her interpretations.
I love these Gothic-type stories centered around ancient homes and estates and the people who inhabit them and so the story did live up to my expectations. That said, I did expect a little more danger than was in the book. I loved the interaction between the sinister Mrs. Danvers and Mrs. de Winter, creepy as it sometimes was. I found it interesting that the reader is never made privy to the name of the current Mrs. de Winter. She is never called by her first name. The ending was a surprise and I was satisfied with it and left feeling that I wanted more. So, for me, that is what a good book does.
I had built this book up in my mind so much that I was afraid I would be disappointed but I am happy to say I am not. One day, I may go back and read the book because I think maybe I would have really enjoyed that a little better. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the audio but sometimes there is nothing better than reading it page by page, especially a classic like REBECCA.
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: (Audio) January 2009
Publisher: (Audio) AudioGO
Length: 14hrs 52mn
Source: Purchased from Audible.com
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5