“Rebecca is a flashback about a nameless young woman who becomes Mrs. de Winter and how she fares at Manderley. In her flashback, the heroine meets Maxim de Winter in a hotel at Monte Carlo. She is a paid companion to a Mrs. Van Hopper. After courting for only two weeks, Maxim asks her to marry him; she accepts and they go to Manderley, his home.
Once at Manderley, the heroine finds out how Maxim's first wife died, or so it seems. However, the heroine is intimidated by the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who was very fond of Rebecca when she was living. The heroine learns about Rebecca's beauty, charm, grace, and reputation, all of which seem impeccable. She believes that she cannot live up to Rebecca's legend and that Maxim is still in love with Rebecca.
One day when a ship runs aground in a cove near the Manderley home, divers surveying the wreckage find Rebecca's boat with her body in its hold. Rumors spread like wildfire. Maxim is forced to tell the heroine the truth. (Spoiler Alert. The succeeding paragraph has been removed for that reason.)
The heroine is relieved to find that Maxim never loved Rebecca. There is an inquest, causing Maxim much anxiety. (Spoiler Alert. The succeeding paragraph has been removed for that reason.) Despite much hardship, Maxim is exonerated. On their way home to Manderley, Maxim and his wife cross a ridge just miles from Manderley and see it in flames. The story ends intimating that Mrs. Danvers was responsible.
This story is so beautifully worded that the words flow through the mind and over the tongue like smooth water.
At first the beginning of the story is confusing, but everything quickly falls into place.
The unnamed heroine is so easy to identify with, as she seems to embody every thought of naivety and well meaning intention.
The values of loyalty, honor, and love stand stronger than the forces beyond the grave. The elements of revenge, duplicity and fear are woven throughout the story. A way to cope with fear is evident in the unnamed heroine's story, causing it to be a story not only of resolve but of courage and triumph. ”