Mrs de Winter by Susan Hill and Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman
Since Daphne du Maurier’s most well-known novel Rebecca
was published in 1938 many people have tried, with varying degrees of success, to imitate or continue the story. Rebecca
is the classic gothic retelling of the Cinderella story and it could be said that, in writing it, Daphne was herself reworking Jane Eyre
. Two novels really can claim to be companion books to Rebecca
and are both worth reading.
The first is the sequel, Mrs de Winter, written by Susan Hill and published in 1993. Susan Hill is a hugely successful author in her own right and is probably best known for The Woman in Black.
In Mrs de Winter Susan cleverly brings Maxim and his wife back from exile where the second Mrs de Winter believes happiness can be found at last.
However, with her own skilled storytelling and using strands from Daphne du Maurier’s original Rebecca Notebook, Susan Hill brings the story to a devastating conclusion.
|The second book is Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman, published in 2001. The du Maurier family asked Sally to write this book and it has always been described as the companion novel to Rebecca.
The novel begins twenty years after the death of Rebecca and uses detail from both Rebecca and Mrs de Winter as it weaves a story that enables Rebecca herself to have a voice for the first time.