Daphne du Maurier had always stated that this book was a study in jealousy.
"Very roughly, the book will be about the influence of a first wife on a second,” wrote Daphne du Maurier in her notes. “Until wife 2 is haunted day and night… a tragedy is looming very close and crash! Bang! Something happens.”
However it may have been intended, it is now heralded as a classic work of gothic romance. It has had fairly positive reviews throughout its publication history, and remains well received today. When one takes a deeper look into the text, there are many themes that would have been very scandalous during the time of Rebecca's publication. These themes include lesbian desire, progressive gender roles, and sexuality.