Summary: A young woman is on a sort of vacation with her employer. While her employer is sick, she befriends and falls in love with a wealthy, well-known man, Maxim DeWinter. They marry and move into the great house known as Manderley. Now she must overcome the pressures of filling in the former Mrs. DeWinter's shoes. Her death and the people who were close to Rebecca still haunt the house and the new Mrs. DeWinter. The narrator has trouble fitting in and no one seems willing to let her be herself, they keep expecting Rebecca. Soon enough, rumors and the past start to fit together to reveal who Rebecca was and what actually happened to her.
Review: I honestly love this book. It is the second time I've read this book but this was more a refresher for me since it has been years since I read it the first time. I love Du Maurier's dark style and the way this story turns from a simple love story to almost a haunting mystery.
2. Kiss Me Again, Stranger Daphne du Maurier
Summary: This is a book of short stories all written by du Maurier.
"Kiss Me Again, Stranger" is a story about a man that has his life shaken up when he meets a young woman working at the movies. They hang out one night for some time and he falls completely in love. After that night, he never sees her again.
"The Birds" takes place in a small town on the coast where a farmer and his family live. England becomes overrun with flocks of attacking birds. Everyone is in trouble and tries their best to survive.
"The Little Photographer" is about an upper class French woman on vacation with her children. She meets a young photographer and falls in lust with him almost. They meet in secret for a while. Eventually she tires of the relationship and tries to break it off.
"Monte Verita" is the longest of them all and about a man and his friend who are both mountain climbers. His friend, Victor, meets a woman, Anna, and falls madly in love. She is a peculiar sort of woman but neither man really takes note of that. On a trip Anna and Victor climb Monte Verita. They stop in a small village and during the night Anna goes missing only never to be seen again. Victor has trouble coping that she now lives with a tribe of people who live higher up on the mountain. The narrator wishes to help his friend whose life is falling apart and possibly gain something for himself.
"The Apple Tree" is about an older man who has been widowed. He notices an apple tree outside of his house and no longer wishes to get rid of it but a lot of events occur that bring about old memories and delay his action to get rid of the tree.
"The Old Man" is one of the shortest where the narrator sees a family that is very different than any other in the neighborhood. He pays close attention to them and notices the father's in control. He never meets them but he watches them quite often. His constant watching leads to a gruesome discovery.
"The Split Second" is the story of a woman is having trouble living on her own after the passing of her husband and her daughter living in boarding school. She winds up coming back to find out that her house is no longer her home and everything is different.
"No Motive" is the last story. I don't know what the summary is for this one besides the fact that it is a murder mystery. I haven't read it and sites I look at won't give a description.
Review: Some of these I liked more than others. I haven't read all of "The Split Second" and I never touched "No Motive". I really enjoyed "Kiss Me Again, Stranger", "The Little Photographer" and, in a way, "The Old Man". "The Birds" is the short story Hitchcock based his movie off of and just like the movie, I wasn't very happy with it. I am struggling with "The Split Second". Overall, a decent book made up of interesting stories.
3. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Katherine Howe
Summary: A graduate student at Harvard, Connie Goodwin is able to move on and begin her dissertation. It is the summer now, so she has a little down time but she must begin her research. Her mother tells her about her grandmother's house in Marblehead, MA. Connie goes there to clean up the house and prepare it to be sold. It is a large, overgrown and rotting house. On the first night, she finds a 17th century Bible with a key and the name Deliverance Dane in it. Connie begins her research on this woman and finds out that she may have been accused as a witch during the Salem Trials in 1692. Interested in what might have happened to this woman and her physick book, Connie begins digging into the past. All while this story is told, Deliverance's story is told. Flashbacks to the past from other people's points of view explain more of what went on a few hundred years ago in Salem, MA.
Review: I really loved this book. I thought it was intelligently written and it brought to light a different view point than what has been said and done about the Salem Witch Trials. It did get a little slow with a lot of the flashbacks because I was more interested in what Connie was doing rather than Deliverance's daughter or granddaughter but it was still something that drew focus onto important plot pieces. All in all, I highly recommend this book to anybody that likes fictional mixed with truth and mysteries.