Welcome back to another Monday of Rebecca-related posts! If you haven’t seen already, I’m hosting a Rebecca readalong from the 21st of September to the 21st of October to celebrate the upcoming Netflix adaptation. Last week I spoke about some movies that had been recommended to me, and this week I’m sharing some bookish recommendations with all of you!
Indelicacy by Amina Cain
This one is a little more left-field compared to the others on the list, so it seemed like a good one to start with. This is definitely more similar in terms of the feel of Rebecca, rather than any plot elements or anything like that. I suppose it has a bit of the ‘marriage to a man you hardly know’ trope, if you could call that a trope. This is a 2020 release, but it feels like an old late Victorian/early Edwardian classic while simultaneously feeling timeless. If I ever read anything that made felt like that before, I definitely can’t remember it. It is also has this sort of Gothic feel to it, without it really being that. It’s a very short book too—it took me less than an hour to read through the entire thing, and I did it a single setting because it just felt that atmospheric and intriguing.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I know this is a little bit of a cliched one, but it has to be said. I actually read Rebecca about a year before I picked up Jane Eyre and I loved how I could piece them together and see the connections and the differences. Just like any other book, Jane Eyre definitely isn’t for everyone—it took me quite a few tries, but it was definitely worth it once I got going. It’s probably in my top favourite classics (along the likes of Frankenstein and Persuasion). It’s also the perfect time to give it a chance with Victober happening this month—I know I’m definitely planning to pick it up to reread it in the next week or so.
Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim
This is definitely a much lesser known classic, but it also reportedly served as du Maurier’s inspiration for Rebecca. It does have a very, very similar plot to Rebecca, though I suppose you could argue that both of them drew a lot of inspiration from Jane Eyre. Either way, this follows young Lucy who marries a man named Wemyss and they move to his beautiful home, at which point Lucy starts to wonder what happened to his first wife, Vera. If you’ve already read Rebecca, you can probably (and hopefully!) agree that Max de Winter isn’t great, but Wemyss makes him look like a literal angel. He’s honestly got to be one of the worst men in literature, but the book is worth a reading for von Armin’s writing and the way she twists the story.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I’m sure you’ve seen this one around a bit lately. It almost seems like everyone in the book community has either read this already, or is going to pick it up. And obviously, I had to be one of them. It was such a brilliant book—definitely very dark in parts and thought I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s ‘horror’, personally, it is more than a little creepy in parts. It really feels like Moreno-Garcia took lessons from Brontë sisters and du Maurier when it comes to creating at atmosphere that feels like it’s coming off the page. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a YA book that has made me feel like I’m really there, in the house alongside Noemi. I’m just in such aw of Moreno-Garcia’s skill.
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Usually when it comes to recommend another du Maurier, I always go for Jamaica Inn which I think is probably her best after Rebecca. But, My Cousin Rachel is more similar in its plot than Jamaica Inn is. But don’t be alarmed, it is a different story—it just has those same sorts of vibes to it. It follows a young man, Philip Ashley, who is about to meet his cousin Ambrose’s wife, Rachel. Ambrose has just died, leaving Philip without any other family. He slowly gets drawn into Rachel’s life, though the question is always in the back of his mind—is she responsible for Ambrose’s death? It’s definitely worth a read, especially if you’re in the mood for something with du Maurier’s masterful twists and turns.
The Daphne du Maurier Companion edited by Helen Taylor
I have to be fully transparent here and admit that I haven’t finished this one as of yet. But, if you’re someone who, like me, enjoys learning more about authors and reading essays about your favourite books than definitely give this one a chance. I’m about a 100 pages in and I’ve already learnt so much. I’ve done a lot of research about du Maurier over the years, having always wanted to write something about her, but there’s so much in here that I never knew about. My favourite thing about books like this is that you can dip in and out of the different essays depending on which interest you, or which books you’ve read and which you haven’t. All up, this makes for a really interesting read.
And those are my recommendations! I’m always up for more Rebecca lookalike books, so if you have any recommendations of your own, please leave them below!