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Published more than 60 years ago, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca still captivates, at least partly because of its insistent ambiguity: we never learn definitively whether Maxim de Winter murdered his stunning first wife, Rebecca, or why Maxim so hastily remarried a mousy younger woman, famously unnamed. Selected by the du Maurier estate, Beauman (Destiny) has written a "companion" to Rebecca that preserves, and even deepens, the earlier novel's crafty evasions. Set in 1951, two decades after Rebecca's death was ruled a suicide, Beauman's story opens with the same (now famous) sentence as the earlier book: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." Elderly, ailing Colonel Arthur Julyan was magistrate in the district when the legendary de Winter mansion mysteriously burned to the ground. Julyan's last days are disturbed by the intrusive visits of Terence Gray, a Scottish academic who claims to be writing a book about Rebecca's death. Then both Julyan's sharp daughter Ellie and Gray, who has secrets of his own, become rattled when Rebecca's personal effects begin arriving at the Julyan home. One of the anonymously sent packages contains Rebecca's journal, written just before her death a possible Rosetta stone. Beauman expertly tells Rebecca's tale from four different perspectives Julyan's, Gray's, Ellie's and, most vividly, Rebecca's without settling which version is nearest the truth. Though a composite Rebecca emerges depressive, possibly schizophrenic, promiscuous, fearless and almost certainly "dangerous" Beauman merely hints at a biological cause, raising titillating, though fully plausible, possibilities. This lushly imagined sequel, which cleverly reproduces the cadences of du Maurier's prose, resurrects Manderley without sweeping away all the artful old cobwebs. Readers should pounce. Agent, Peter Matson. 15-city NPR campaign. (Oct. 2)Forecast: While Rebecca may not be familiar to younger readers (though the 1940 Hitchcock film starring Laurence Olivier is a classic), Beauman's seductive sequel should do well on its own and also prompt interest in the original, which is being reissued in mass market.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Another Rebecca spinoff? In this case, Beauman (Destiny) was chosen by Daphne du Maurier's estate. Here, 20 years after Rebecca's death, Colonel Julyan asks daughter Ellie and mysterious scholar Tom Gray to reconsider her death in light of her newly discovered diaries.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
If you haven't read Daphne DuMaurier's 'Rebecca,' I would absoloutely read it before venturing onto this one. Read morePublished on April 18 2004 by lady detective
The original _Rebecca_ was fantastic - well-written and beautiful. The followup was, in comparison, dry and almost redundant. Read morePublished on April 2 2004
I read the mystery novel Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman. I thought the book was very hard to understand, especially in the beginning. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003
As a huge fan of Du Maurier I anxiously picked up this novel proposing to pick up where Rebecca left off. The author failed miserably at this attempt. Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by chantal9677
I am a huge REBECCA fan, and yes, I have read the other two books in the series. This book was a real page turner, though it didn't start out that way: As much as I liked Colonel... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2002 by Celeste M. Harmer
What a disappointing read! Since I first read Rebecca, I've been fascinated by Manderley and the de Winters. I was even somewhat satisfied when I read Mrs. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2002 by Kathryn P Michaels
I had very mixed feelings about starting to read Rebecca's Tale. I loved the original 'Rebecca,' and loved even more the recent BBC television production that was so faithful to... Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2002 by Len B
If you have read, loved and been haunted by Rebecca, you must read Rebecca's Tale. Not only is it the best sequel I have ever read, but it is also one of the best books I have... Read morePublished on May 27 2002 by Sandy