Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Synopsis: A young and inexperienced narrator (who remains unnamed throughout the narrative) marries a widower and owner of a massive estate, Manderley, after knowing him for only a few weeks. After the initial bliss of honeymoon and new love, Maxim de Winter takes his new bride back to Manderley, where they are both haunted by the memory of Rebecca, his former wife, who died mysteriously a year before. The story grapples with the universal questions: What is love? What is marriage? Who do we belong to? Do we ever truly know someone else? While masterfully weaving a web of secrets, lies, and mystery that keeps the reader intrigued until the very last page.
I read this book for the first time in my eighth grade English class, and while I remember really loving it then, I couldn’t remember much about the actual story when I started it this time around. While reading, I kept thinking “I can’t believe this was assigned reading in eighth grade.” There are so many mature themes and psychological complexities that I never would have grasped as an adolescent. Not to mention, the beautiful mirroring of this narrative to Jane Eyre greatly enriched my reading experience, and I think that everyone should read this after reading Jane Eyre. I was in awe of the masterful writing technique and absolutely beautiful prose of this book from the first page to the last. Books are just not written like this anymore. If you are in the mood for a beautiful, mysterious, gripping read pick this one up.