The book's heroine is first introduced as a travelling companion to the wealthy and obnoxious Mrs. Van Hopper. Tired of the petty tyranny she constantly experiences from her snobbish employer, yet trapped by her modest means, the book's heroine expects a sad and lonely stay in the glamorous Monte Carlo. Yet her pessimism is interrupted by the entrance of the handsome,mysterious Maximilian de Winter, heir to the famous country estate, Manderly.
Mr de Winter seems insulted by the snobbish Mrs Van Hopper's weak attempts to befriend him, yet he shows a partiality to her travelling companion or, as he jokingly quotes, her 'friend of the bosom'. He treats her kindly, taking her driving through the town. Yet for all his generosity, Mr de Winter seems distracted. At one stage, the heroine even considers that he might be mad. Yet she soon learns the reason for his behaviour, one year ago, Mr de Winter was widowed after a tragic boating accident.
He does not speak of his wife, or even of his home, taking to silence whenever the conversation turns to them. Yet in his strange way, he begins to grow an affection for the heroine. And when she announces that she is to leave for New York, he quickly proposes marriage. Ecstatic, the heroine accepts, and presently, the new Mrs de Winter is swept away to the de Winter's country seat, the beautiful Manderly. Here, her new husband seems increasingly distant, and seems troubled to be back in his home.
And so without his support, Mrs de Winter is faced with the daunting task of being mistress of Manderly. She knows not the proper conduct befitting to her, nor does she know how she should run her house. And her prescence is resented by the cold and menacing housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.
Very much alone, Mrs de Winter begins to learn the ways of life at Manderly. Yet she is ever haunted by a shadow, a ghost, that she can not quite seem to identify. Yet it is always there, taunting, teasing.
Soon, she begins to place the shadow. Mrs de Winter is feeling the presence of the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca, Maxim's first bride. She learns how much she was loved by all that knew her, adored for her beauty and her grace. And indeed her presence does linger,in the writing on her desk, in the flowers in the garden, in the coat that Maxim's new bride wears.
All were once her's, and Mrs de Winter feels like an unwelcome guest in her own home.
She is constantly comparing herself to Rebecca, beautiful, perfect Rebecca, who lived in her home, who owned her things, who held her husband... With her new husband still not returning any of the love that she bears him, Mrs de Winter is brought to the point of a breakdown.
As much as she tries to fit in at Manderly, she finds only Rebecca wherever she turns.
In the West Wing of the house, Rebecca's suite is kept as though she is still expected to return. Then, just as Mrs de Winter stands literelly on the edge of taking her very life, Rebecca does indeed return. Her boat is found in the bay at Manderly, bringing with it a shocking secret, and a revelation that will change the new Mrs de Winter's life, and her marriage, forever.
This report prepared by D.S
While on holiday as a paid companion to a wealthy American, a young woman meets and falls in love with Max de Winter, the famous rich heir who tragically lost his wife in a mysterious boating accident. They get married and move to Max's family mansion, Mandelay, where the new Mrs. de Winter struggles to fit in. Coming from a modest background, Mrs. de Winter is plagued by insecurities and self-doubt and finds her new role as lady of the house rather daunting. Max can't understand why she's such a wuss and is rather hard on her. On top of all this, the head servant, Ms. Danvers, can't stand her and wants to run her off. Ms. Danvers has an unatural fixation with the former Ms. de Winter, Rebecca, and does her best to convince the New Mrs. de Winter that she doesn't belong at Mandelay and that the true Mrs. de Winter, i.e., Rebecca, is still hanging around. Ms. Danvers hounds Ms. De Winter and mentally abuses her until she nearly commits sucide, but finally Ms. de Winter grows a spine. Then out of the
blue she finds out that Rebecca's death was not accidental, but that she was murdered by Max. Max tells her that Rebecca was an evil gold digger, and Ms. De Winter buys it. The rest of the book focuses on the court battle to determine if Max is guilty of murder. Then there's the
suspenceful finale when Ms. Danvers goes ballistic and starts up a bonfire in Rebecca's old room.
This report prepared by sayruh