Today's Book Recommendation is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
Our nameless heroine begins her story as a lady's companion. It is a bleak and boring future that doesn't seem to have a shred of hope on the horizon. Then on a trip to the South of France our heroine meets Max De Winter. A dashing gentleman who surprises her with a marriage proposal after only a few days of knowing each other. After a whirlwind wedding and moving from hotel to hotel for a while our heroine is brought home to Manderlay. His rather ominous estate.
Here our heroine finds that her husband is a changed man as the memory of the first Mrs. De Winter is ardently kept alive by the foreboding figure of the head of household Mrs. Danvers. Not only does she keep the memory of her first mistress alive but she also intimidates and frightens her new mistress.
After a while our heroine begins to believe that she can't compete with the former mistress of the house who was beautiful, talented, and brilliant. At least that is what everyone keeps telling her. Slowly, if only to calm her own nerves, our heroine begins to unravel the mystery of Rebecca's death. But, the question is...will she ever really be free of the long shadow that Rebecca casts.
This novel is a classic piece of gothic inspired ghostery (yes, I made that word up). If you liked Jane Eyre but want something with a slighly more sinister air this is a novel that should definitely be checked out. There is a moment at a masquerade that is particularly chilling. Both for the event and for the manipulation behind it.