In this book, the story is told by a women who's name we never learn. She starts the story with a dream she is having. She dreams she is at Manderley, but sees herself as a ghost. In her dream she is moving through the remains of the mansion Manderly that was once a very beautiful place where she used to live. After she wakes up, she can only talk about the dream with is her husband, who's name we haven't learned yet. She and her husband are traveling through Europe at the time, switching hotels often so that they can avoid meeting people they know. She talks about Jasper, her dog, that she misses and how her meals were prepared at Manderley. She also wonders how the people she knew at Manderly are now. When she was younger, she used to travel through Europe with Mrs. Van Hopper, as her compainion. During the trip, they stop at Monte Carlo, Mrs. Van Hopper sees a notices a man, who is Maxim de Winter, the owner of Manderley. Maim de Winter had lost his wife, Rebecca, who had died the year before. At first Maxim treats her rudly, but then later apologizes for his rudeness. The day after this, Mrs. Van Hopper is sick, so she has nothing to do & runs into Maxim by accident. She & Maxim go on a car-ride & Maxim is very nice to her, until they go by Manderley, then he becomes very cold. Maxim gives her a book of poems that Rebecca had given to him.
She & Maxim continue taking rides together and she begins to fall in love with Maxim. She doesn't think that Maxim would ever return her feelings for them, even though the only reason Maxim is continuing his stay in Monte Carlo is because of her. He says she makes her feel alive again, where he has felt dead inside since his wife Rebecca dies. But she still cannot help but compare herself to Rebecca. Mrs. Van Hopper suddenly decides to leave Monte Carlo and go to New York. The morning that they are supposed to leave, she goes up to Maxim's room to say good-bye because she doesn't think she"ll ever see him again.