Rebecca

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Maximilian de Winter Character Analysis

The wealthy, charismatic, middle-aged owner of Manderley. On the surface, Maxim, or Max, is a calm, dapper man—the very image of the English gentleman. He’s perfectly well aware of his power and charisma, and at times doesn’t hesitate to use these assets to compel those around him to obey his wishes—even pressuring the narrator to marry him. Like any good gentleman, Maxim is obsessed with his public appearance. As a result, he doesn’t divulge the truth about Rebecca, his first wife, to the narrator until towards the end of the novel—as far as she’s concerned, Maxim loved Rebecca, and continues to love her even after her death. But as the novel goes on, Maxim’s calm façade breaks down. He reveals that Rebecca was manipulating and blackmailing him, using the threat of a scandal to keep him in a loveless marriage. By the end of the novel, Maxim is a shadow of the confident gentleman we’d first met: no less than the narrator, he’s weak and susceptible to manipulation. On the other hand, there are other critics who argue that Maxim, not Rebecca, is the real villain of the novel: he’s a shallow, misogynistic man who treats women like children, and demonizes and murders them when they don’t obey him.

Maximilian de Winter Quotes in Rebecca

The Rebecca quotes below are all either spoken by Maximilian de Winter or refer to Maximilian de Winter . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper edition of Rebecca published in 2006.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“When we climbed the hills and looked down over the precipice. I was there some years ago, with my wife. You asked me if it was still the same, if it had changed at all. It was just the same, but—I was thankful to realize—oddly impersonal. There was no suggestion of the other time. She and I had left no record. It may have been because you were with me. You have blotted out the past for me, you know, far more effectively than all the bright lights of Monte Carlo.”

Related Characters: Maximilian de Winter (speaker), Rebecca de Winter , The narrator
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the narrator--at this point a young, shy, unmarried woman--gets to know Maxim de Winter, the man who will one day become her husband. Maxim explains to the narrator that he was once married. He and his former wife traveled all over Monte Carlo, and once visited the very hill where he and the narrator are currently standing.

As Maxim goes on to explain, he likes the narrator because she helps him forget the pain of his former wife. Maxim doesn't go into any detail about what his marriage to Rebecca was like (we the readers don't understand the marriage until the end of the novel). And yet it's clear that Maxim is looking to forget his past: the narrator is a kind of "medicine," helping Maxim move on with his life. By 21st century standards, Maxim's speech is rather sexist: he treats the narrator as a means to the end of his own happiness, and seems to have little interest in the narrator's personality. In this sense, the quotation is confusing: we're not sure if we're meant to pity Maxim for his loss, reject his narrow-minded sexism, or both.

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How many times she must have written to him thus, in how many varied moods. Little notes, scrawled on half-sheets of paper, and letters, when he was away, page after page, intimate, their news. Her voice, echoing through the house, and down the garden, careless and familiar like the writing in the book.

And I had to call him Maxim.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Rebecca de Winter , Maximilian de Winter
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator begins to enter into a strange competition with Rebecca, Maxim de Winter's dead wife. Rebecca and Maxim seem to have enjoyed a close marriage for many years--hence Rebecca's habit of calling Maxim "Max." The narrator, by contrast, has been instructed to refer to Mr. de Winter as "Maxim." As the narrator interprets things, she's more removed from Maxim's thoughts and feelings. Even after the narrator marries Maxim, she's not really close with him--she begins to sense that Maxim is still in love with Rebecca, hence the distance implied by "Maxim."

It's strange to think that the narrator is "competing" with Rebecca for Maxim's affections. Throughout the novel, though, Rebecca will exert a powerful influence over the characters, albeit from beyond the grave. Rebecca could also be considered a strong maternal presence, against whom the narrator must rebel in an Oedipal sense. (See Themes.)

Chapter 6 Quotes

“If you think I'm one of the people who try to be funny at breakfast you're wrong,” he said. “I'm invariably ill-tempered in the early morning. I repeat to you, the choice is open to you. Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me.”
“Do you mean you want a secretary or something?”
“No, I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool.”

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter (speaker), Mrs. Van Hopper
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Maxim de Winter dines with the narrator in Monte Carlo. Abruptly, Maxim asks the narrator to marry him. His tone is brisk and matter-of-fact--there's no real compassion or love in his voice (he even calls the narrator a "little fool"), and both characters are clearly aware of their different roles (Maxim as the powerful male benefactor, and the narrator as the lower-class, helpless female) in the relationship.

The absence of any real passion or affection in this quotation reflects the continued distance between the narrator and Maxim, who is to become her new husband. Even after she's married and moves to Manderley, the narrator will continue to regard her husband with a combination of fear and uncertainty. And we, the readers, can't tell exactly why Maxim is asking for the narrator's hand in marriage. Perhaps he's genuinely attracted to the narrator, but perhaps he thinks of her a means to an end--a way of purging himself of any lasting feelings for Rebecca. Even by the end of the book, it'll be impossible to tell how Maxim feels after Rebecca--an ambiguity that has led some feminist critics to dub Maxim the real villain of the novel.

“Naturally one wants you to be happy, and I grant you he's a very attractive creature but—well, I'm sorry; and personally I think you are making a big mistake—one you will bitterly regret.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Van Hopper (speaker), The narrator , Maximilian de Winter
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, the narrator--who's just gotten engaged to Maxim--crosses paths with her rather cruel former employer, Mrs. Van Hooper, for whom she's acted as a valet and travel partner. Van Hooper, who, it's been suggested, is jealous of the narrator's friendship with Maxim, tells the narrator that she doesn't approve of the marriage.

It's strange that such a simple quote from such an unimportant character should have such major ramifications for the narrator's relationship with Maxim. For the rest of the novel, the narrator continues to remember Van Hooper's words, eventually concluding that her former employer was right all along: she was wrong to marry such a mysterious, taciturn man. The fact that the narrator would be so disturbed by the opinion of a woman she despises suggests that the narrator herself is uncertain about her marriage to Maxim: she barely knows Maxim, and so she's afraid that Maxim thinks of her as a mere "cure" for his marriage to Rebecca.

Chapter 13 Quotes

I dreaded his going. When I saw the car disappear round the sweep in the drive I felt exactly as though it were to be a final parting and I should never see him again. There would be an accident of course and later on in the afternoon, when I came back from my walk, I should find Frith white and frightened waiting for me with a message. The doctor would have rung up from some cottage hospital. “You must be very brave,” he would say, “I'm afraid you must be prepared for a great shock.”

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter , Frith
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:

Here the narrator talks about the fear she feels whenever her husband leaves Manderley to drive into London. The narrator feels a powerful fear that Maxim is going to get in a car accident and die, leaving the narrator alone at Manderley forever.

The passage is notable in that it shows the narrator's fantasy life in full-swing: the narrator seems to hallucinate a complex scenario in which a doctor tells her about Maxim's tragic death. Alone in a big house, the narrator has no way to occupy her time other than with elaborate fantasies, even if they're gruesome and depressing. The passage also suggests the narrator's total, slavish devotion to her husband. Alone in a strange, austere world, the narrator has one and only one friend--Maxim himself--meaning that, in a way, she's imprisoned in her new life at Manderley. (As some critics have pointed out, Maxim may be totally aware of the narrator's dependence on him, and using it to his advantage.)

Chapter 16 Quotes

He considered me a moment, his eyebrows raised, whistling softly. “Listen, my sweet. When you were a little girl, were you ever forbidden to read certain books, and did your father put those books under lock and key?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Well, then. A husband is not so very different from a father after all. There is a certain type of knowledge I prefer you not to have. It's better kept under lock and key. So that's that. And now eat up your peaches, and don't ask me any more questions, or I shall put you in the corner.”
“I wish you would not treat me as if I was six,” I said.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter (speaker)
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator has brought up the issue of Rebecca to Maxim de Winter himself. But instead of opening up about the issue to his wife, Maxim clams up, condescendingly claiming that the narrator is too young and childish to understand Maxim's feelings. As Maxim explains it, the narrator is like a young child, who needs to be kept out of a library for her own good.

As the narrator readily points out, Maxim is treating her like a tiny child. Moreover, Maxim is obtusely implying that the narrator is the problem--i.e., that she's curious about things that should be left alone--when in fact it's Maxim himself who's to blame for being too cowardly to discuss the truth with another person. The narrator has felt that she's being treated condescendingly for some time now, but it's not until this scene that she tells Maxim how she's feeling--a sure sign that the narrator is becoming stronger and more assertive.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” he asked. His eyes blazed in anger. His face was still ashen white.
I could not move, I went on standing there, my hand on the banister.
“It's the picture,” I said, terrified at his eyes, at his voice. “It's the picture, the one in the gallery.”
There was a long silence. We went on staring at each other. Nobody moved in the hall. I swallowed, my hand moved to my throat. “What is it?” I said. “What have I done?”

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter (speaker)
Related Symbols: The White Dress
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

In this uncomfortable scene, the narrator prepares to enter the Manderley summer ball, a fixture of social life in the community. With Mrs. Danvers's help, the narrator has chosen for her costume a beautiful white dress. To her horror, though, the narrator discovers--as she enters the party itself--that the dress is identical to one worn by Rebecca years before. Mrs. Danvers has tricked the narrator into humiliating herself in front of her guests and her husband.

The scene is designed to show the narrator in a state of total cluelessness: at this point, the narrator has no idea what she's done, or why her behavior has enraged Maxim. And yet we, the readers, can already guess what's going on. The narrator has dared to wear Rebecca's clothes--symbolically, she's attempted to step into Rebecca's role as wife and socialite, and she's utterly failed. In short, the passage confirms the narrator's worst fear: that she's an embarrassing, inadequate substitute for Rebecca de Winter.

Chapter 18 Quotes

That was why I had come down last night in my blue dress and had not stayed hidden in my room. There was nothing brave or fine about it, it was a wretched tribute to convention. I had not come down for Maxim's sake, or Beatrice's, for the sake of Manderley. I had come down because I did not want the people at the ball to think I had quarreled with Maxim. I didn't want them to go home and say, “Of course you know they don't get on. I hear he's not at all happy.” I had come for my own sake, my own poor personal pride.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter , Beatrice Lacy
Related Symbols: The White Dress
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

In the aftermath of her humiliation, the narrator makes the difficult choice to continue with her party. Mrs. Danvers has embarrassed her horribly, but instead of fleeing to her room, she decides to continue on with the party, playing the part of a gracious host.

It's important to note that it's the narrator's pride, nothing else, that compels her to continue on with her hosting duties. In a slightly different sense, the narrator chooses to continue on because she doesn't want her hundreds of guests talking about her behind her back: she's concerned with her reputation in the community. Ironically, in spite of Mrs. Danvers best efforts, the narrator's humiliation at her party has caused her to become a more competent hostess and a more confident partner to Maxim de Winter--she's finally playing the part of Maxim's wife. The narrator presents this as a character flaw, but in reality it's a sign of growth--she's doing things for her own sense of dignity and self-respect, rather than just because she thinks Maxim (or Rebecca) would approve.

Chapter 19 Quotes

I was free now to be with Maxim, to touch him, and hold him, and love him. I would never be a child again.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, the narrator has a bizarre and horrifying conflict with Mrs. Danvers, at the end of which the narrator asserts her right to live in Manderley and be married to Maxim. To her own surprise, the narrator realizes that she's cleansed herself of any feelings of fear or insecurity: where before she was afraid of Mrs. Danvers and afraid of not measuring up to Rebecca, the narrator is now calm and collected, confident that she's a better bride to Maxim than Rebecca ever was.

It's important to note that the quotation stresses that the narrator has grown up, as well as conquered her fears of Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers. In addition to being a mystery, Rebecca is also a coming-of-age story. Here, we learn how the narrator grows from a child to an adult: she gets over her feelings of insecurity and learns to be confident in herself.

Chapter 20 Quotes

“Our marriage was a farce from the very first. She was vicious, damnable, rotten through and through. We never loved each other, never had one moment of happiness together. Rebecca was incapable of love, of tenderness, of decency. She was not even normal.”

Related Characters: Maximilian de Winter (speaker), Rebecca de Winter , The narrator
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

Maxim de Winter finally tells the narrator the truth about Rebecca. Contrary to what the narrator has always assumed, Rebecca was not a lovely, glamorous woman; on the contrary, she was a cruel, two-faced villain whom Maxim despised.

After this quotation, Maxim will go into great detail about why, exactly, Rebecca was so bad. But for now, it's crucial to notice that Maxim sums up Rebecca's faults by saying, "She was not even normal." For Maxim, the word "normal" means a few things: being a loving wife, being obedient to one's husband, doing one's duty as a hostess, etc. Many critics of the novel have pointed out that it's Maxim, not Rebecca, who comes across as a villain here. Maxim resents Rebecca, it could be argued, not because she's a particularly awful person, but because she refuses to go along with the sexist norms of society and be subservient to her husband.

“Yes,” I said, “my sweet, my love.” But I looked away from him so he should not see my face. What did it matter whether I understood him or not? My heart was light like a feather floating in the air. He had never loved Rebecca.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Rebecca de Winter , Maximilian de Winter
Page Number: 278
Explanation and Analysis:

As Maxim explains to the narrator that Rebecca was a vile, hateful woman, the narrator is filled with happiness. In this quotation, we learn why: the narrator is thrilled to learn that Maxim never loved Rebecca.

It's important to notice that the narrator doesn't really understand Maxim any better than she did before: she doesn't really know anything about his personality or his character--the only thing that matters is that she, the narrator, isn't competing with Rebecca for Maxim's love. Strangely, even after the narrator learns that Rebecca wasn't the wonderful, glamorous woman she's been led to imagine, she can't help but compare herself to Rebecca: in a way, she's more interested in "beating" Rebecca than she is in understanding her own husband (or later accepting the fact that he murdered his former wife). Rebecca, it's been argued, is a Freudian mother-figure, competing with the narrator for Maxim's paternal love. The narrator's competition with Rebecca shows that she's still locked in an Electra Complex--a sure sign that she's not yet a fully mature adult.

Chapter 27 Quotes

I would learn more about the estate, too. I should ask Frank to explain things to me. I was sure Frank liked me. I liked him, too. I would go into things, and learn how they were managed. What they did at the farm. How the work in the grounds was planned. I might take to gardening myself, and in time have one or two things altered. That little square lawn outside the morning-room with the statue of the satyr. I did not like it. We would give the satyr away. There were heaps of things that I could do, little by little. People would come and stay and I should not mind. There would be the interest of seeing to their rooms, having flowers and books put, arranging the food. We would have children. Surely we would have children.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter , Frank Crawley
Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the narrator and Maxim de Winter are driving back to Manderley, having resolved the mystery of Rebecca's "illness." With law enforcement satisfied that Rebecca died by suicide, Maxim is free of all suspicion--in short, he and the narrator can finally begin their life as a married couple, finally free of Rebecca's influence. In the car, the narrator plans her new life as Maxim's wife. Although she's been living at Manderley for months now, it's as if she's going there for the first time: she envisions doing all the things she should have been doing all along. The narrator has been too intimidated by Rebecca's memory to play the part of the aristocrat's wife--now, however, she's looking forward to doing so.

And yet there's a subtle hint that all is not well. The mention of Frank "liking" her suggests that the narrator is still a little dissatisfied with her marriage. (Notice that the narrator insists, "We would have children," even though the only man named in the passage is Frank, not Maxim) In short, the narrator seems be settling into her role as Maxim's wife, planning to host parties and give birth to children--as a good wife ought to, she believes--and yet there's also a suggestion that she's not entirely comfortable with such a role.

There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter
Related Symbols: Manderley
Page Number: 386
Explanation and Analysis:

At the end of the novel, the narrator and Maxim return to Manderley, ready to start a new life with one another. And yet when they approach their manor home, they're shocked to see that it's in flames: someone (Mrs. Danvers, it's implied) has set the building on fire.

What does the destruction of Manderley mean for the narrator? Just as the narrator was getting ready to settle into the role of mistress of Manderley, her home is destroyed. By the same token, the narrator's chances of a stable adult life have disappeared: although she's still married to Maxim, she'll never be entirely respectable--because of the destruction of Manderley, her name will always be tied to some mysterious scandal.

And yet the destruction of Manderley is a beginning as well as an ending. Throughout the novel, the narrator has struggled to liberate herself from Rebecca's memory. In no small part, the narrator's struggle was so great because Rebecca and Manderley were practically synonymous. Now that Rebecca's legacy has finally been buried, it's only fair that Manderley should be "buried," too.

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Maximilian de Winter Character Timeline in Rebecca

The timeline below shows where the character Maximilian de Winter appears in Rebecca. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
...was dining with Van Hopper at a restaurant, when they both noticed a handsome man, Maxim de Winter. Van Hopper explained to the narrator that de Winter owned Manderley, and that... (full context)
Chapter 3
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The narrator considers the fact that Mrs. Van Hopper’s observation about Maxim de Winter changed the course of the narrator’s life. Years before, Van Hopper used to... (full context)
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...Van Hopper is going to use the letter as an excuse for introducing herself to Maxim de Winter. The narrator goes to fetch the letter, but when she comes back down... (full context)
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The narrator, Maxim, and Mrs. Van Hopper proceed to have coffee together. Van Hopper says that Maxim must... (full context)
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To the narrator’s surprise, Maxim gently asks her if she would like more coffee. Her asks her if she’s enjoying... (full context)
Chapter 4
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The day after meeting Maxim de Winter, Mrs. Van Hopper wakes up with a fever of 102. While the doctors... (full context)
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At lunch, Maxim tells the narrator once again that he apologizes for his rudeness. The narrator says that... (full context)
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The narrator explains to Maxim that she works for Mrs. Van Hopper for a sum of 90 pounds a year.... (full context)
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Maxim asks the narrator what she’ll be doing with her free afternoon. The narrator says she’s... (full context)
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The narrator spends the afternoon with Maxim in Monaco, attempting to sketch. Because it’s too cold and windy to sketch for a... (full context)
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On the car ride back to the Hotel, Maxim tells the narrator about the flowers at Manderley: beautiful violets, tulips, and lilacs. As he... (full context)
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...narrator goes to dinner in the Hotel, where she looks through the volume of poems Maxim gave her. The most frequently thumbed page, she notices, is about a woman who “flees”... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...the “fever of first love” not once but twice. She remembers the days after meeting Maxim de Winter. Mrs. Van Hopper, still bedridden but not really sick, demands to know where... (full context)
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One day, during her drive with Maxim, the narrator asks him, point-blank, why he’s spending so much time with her. Maxim replies... (full context)
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The narrator, upset by Maxim’s aggressive tone, says that she wants to go home. Maxim nods, and drives the narrator... (full context)
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The narrator returns to the Hotel, and before Maxim parts ways with her for the day, he kisses her, which the narrator finds satisfying... (full context)
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The narrator finds that she can’t stop thinking about Rebecca, Maxim’s former wife. No doubt, Rebecca called Maxim “Max.” Perhaps Rebecca read poetry over his shoulder,... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...Hopper, who’s oblivious to her companion’s sadness. Suddenly, the narrator gets up and goes to Maxim’s room. She tells Maxim that she’s come to say goodbye. She explains that she’s going... (full context)
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The narrator imagines being Maxim’s wife, and has an almost hallucinatory vision of walking around Manderley with Maxim. She realizes... (full context)
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The narrator ends her vision, and finds herself sitting before Maxim in the hotel. Maxim tells her that he’s going to break the news of the... (full context)
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After Maxim leaves Mrs. Van Hopper’s room, the narrator goes in, reluctantly and fearfully. Van Hopper is... (full context)
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The narrator leaves Monte Carlo with Maxim. But she can’t stop thinking about what Mrs. Van Hopper told her: Maxim is only... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Max—or Maxim, as the narrator still calls him—and the narrator arrive at Manderley in early May. Manderley,... (full context)
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Maxim and the narrator drive to Manderley. When they’re only a short distance from the house... (full context)
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As the narrator emerges from the car, she sees an older woman walking toward her. Maxim introduces her as Mrs. Danvers. The narrator finds that she can’t remember exactly what Danvers... (full context)
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Inside Manderley, Maxim and the narrator greet Maxim’s prized cocker spaniels, Jasper and his old, blind mother. The... (full context)
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...months have passed since her time in Monte Carlo—in that time, she’s been married to Maxim, and honeymooned through France and Italy. Maxim has been in joyous spirits lately, and proven... (full context)
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...asked her to come to her new room. The narrator goes to join Mrs. Danvers. Maxim tells her to “make friends.” (full context)
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Suddenly, Maxim enters the narrator’s bedroom. Cheerfully, he praises the décor of the room, and notes that... (full context)
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...dress that Mrs. Van Hopper gave her months ago. At dinner, the narrator laughs with Maxim, happy that the other servants don’t stare her down, as Mrs. Danvers did. Yet after... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The narrator notices right away that life at Manderley is carefully planned and scheduled. Maxim gets up from his bed (the couple sleeps in separate beds, in either the same... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...leads the narrator back to her room, and tells her that Major Giles and Beatrice Lacy—Maxim’s sister and brother-in-law—are waiting for her downstairs, along with Frank Crawley, the Manderley “agent” and... (full context)
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Giles and Beatrice tease Maxim about his health—they suggest that he’s lost weight lately, probably because of marrying the narrator.... (full context)
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The narrator and Beatrice meet up with Giles and Maxim outside on a lawn. Maxim invites Giles, Beatrice, and the narrator to come with him... (full context)
Chapter 10
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The narrator notices that Maxim seems tired after hosting his sister. To relax, he, the narrator, and Jasper the dog... (full context)
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As Maxim and the narrator walk around the grounds, Jasper bounds away from them, and the narrator... (full context)
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The narrator and Jasper walk back to Maxim. Maxim tells the narrator that the man is named Ben. Maxim also noticed that the... (full context)
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...narrator begins to fall into the rhythm of life at Manderley. She has tea with Maxim in the afternoon. The weather is cold and grey. The narrator notices that Manderley is... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...“so very popular.” The narrator also becomes conscious that there’s now tension between herself and Maxim due to her outburst about the cottage. He’s always polite with her, but there’s a... (full context)
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...up to leave. The bishop’s wife tells the narrator to pass on her respects to Maxim, and to ask him to reorganize a ball that Rebecca used to host at Manderley.... (full context)
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...to Rebecca. She admits that she’s beginning to feel that she should never have married Maxim. Frank assures her that she’s done Maxim a “great good” by marrying him. He adds... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The next day, Frith asks to speak to Maxim. Frith reveals that there’s been a problem with Robert, a servant in the house. Mr.... (full context)
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A short while later, Maxim and Mrs. Danvers come back to where the narrator is sitting. Mrs. Danvers, who is... (full context)
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The narrator tells Maxim that her closest friend at Manderley is the servant girl, Clarice. Maxim, who’s known Clarice... (full context)
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The narrator goes on to tell Maxim that she’s been frustrated in her new lifestyle. Maxim, she explains, is used to a... (full context)
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The narrator apologizes to Maxim once again for breaking the china cupid. She asks him if it was valuable, and... (full context)
Chapter 13
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In June, Maxim travels to London to attend a public dinner. For two days, the narrator is on... (full context)
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...flowers everywhere. As the narrator joyfully inspects the flowers and foliage, she realizes that, if Maxim were there, she’d be somber and meek. (full context)
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...other people’s things, assuming that he’s keeping the line for himself. She cautions him that Maxim doesn’t like people going inside the cottage. Ben begins to cry, and insists that he... (full context)
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...years and years. Without introducing himself, he asks the narrator about “old Max”—but nobody calls Maxim “Max,” the narrator thinks. (full context)
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...at Manderley. Before he leaves, he asks the narrator not to mention his visit to Maxim—he explains that Maxim isn’t “fond of me.” The narrator doesn’t say that she’ll keep his... (full context)
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After Favell is gone, the narrator wonders who he could be: he’s addressed Maxim as Max, something only Rebecca did, as far as the narrator can tell. It’s possible... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...continues talking about Rebecca as the narrator grows more and more uncomfortable. She explains that Maxim doesn’t use the west rooms of the house because it’s easy to hear the sound... (full context)
Chapter 15
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The next day, Maxim is scheduled to return in the late evening. In the morning, the narrator receives a... (full context)
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...in the car that the narrator looks thin and unhealthy, but that she’ll probably bear Maxim a child soon enough. Beatrice expresses her hope that the narrator isn’t doing anything to... (full context)
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Beatrice and the narrator arrive at the house of Beatrice and Maxim’s mother. Inside, the narrator finds a house full of dried plants and old-fashioned furniture. Beatrice... (full context)
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...this. As the narrator talks with Gran, she notices the family resemblance between Gran and Maxim. Gran asks repeatedly where Maxim is, and Beatrice gently reminds her that Maxim has gone... (full context)
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...the narrator drive back to Manderley, the narrator imagines Gran as a younger woman, raising Maxim when he was a small boy. As the car approaches Manderley, the narrator is pleased... (full context)
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The narrator thanks Beatrice and says goodbye. As she walks into Manderley, she hears Maxim arguing with Mrs. Danvers, saying, “his car was seen here yesterday afternoon.” When the narrator... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...narrator remembers the Sunday when the idea of a “fancy dress ball” was first proposed. Maxim and the narrator are entertaining a number of unexpected guests for lunch, including Frank Crawley... (full context)
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After the guests leave, the narrator, Frank, and Maxim discuss the idea of a ball. The narrator complains that Lady Crowan is a tiresome... (full context)
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The narrator goes to the west wing of the house with Jasper. She thinks about Maxim’s orders to close up these rooms, and wonders if he ever comes into Rebecca’s old... (full context)
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After Mrs. Danvers leaves, the narrator wonders why Maxim doesn’t like Rebecca’s cousin, Jack Favell. She suspects that Jack is the “black sheep” of... (full context)
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...dress, which has turned out beautifully. She decides to keep her costume a secret from Maxim and Frank until the last minute. (full context)
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...group of guests arriving. To her surprise, no one laughs or applauds for her dress—indeed, Maxim looks at her stonily. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he shouts. Terrified,... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...party. While Beatrice understands that the narrator couldn’t have known this, she points out that Maxim might think that the narrator was trying to shock him. Beatrice has “covered” for the... (full context)
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...all like Rebecca—how, instead, she’s a “little chit.” Perhaps the guests are talking about how Maxim’s new marriage is a failure, since the narrator can’t be comfortable in her new environment. (full context)
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The narrator joins Maxim. Together, they smile graciously at guests. The narrator senses that they’re performing like actors in... (full context)
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As the night goes on, the narrator dances joylessly with Maxim. Slowly, the guests begin to leave. The narrator says goodbye to them with the same... (full context)
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The narrator goes to her bed, and waits for Maxim to enter the room and climb into the bed next to hers. Although she waits... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...her decision to enter the ball wearing her blue dress. She didn’t do it for Maxim or for Beatrice—she did it because of her own pride. (full context)
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...narrator gets out of bed, she realizes that she’s simply not suited for life with Maxim—Mrs. Van Hopper was right all along. Maxim wants to have a new wife, but deep... (full context)
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...agree that the ball was a success, even if the narrator seemed “rather dull,” and Maxim seemed visibly aged. As the narrator walks to her door, she sees a note scribbled... (full context)
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Downstairs, the narrator greets Robert and asks where Maxim might be—Robert reports that he left the house after breakfast. The narrator spends the afternoon... (full context)
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The narrator waits for Frank to arrive. She senses that she’ll never see Maxim again—that he’s left her forever. She walks across the grounds of Manderley, thinking angrily of... (full context)
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...Danvers’s old, wizened face. Danvers explains that ever since the narrator has come to Manderley, Maxim has been miserable—if the narrator had truly loved Maxim, Danvers insists, she’d never have married... (full context)
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...narrator has no power over her. She accuses the narrator of ratting her out to Maxim after Jack Favell visited Manderley—an accusation that the narrator denies. Mrs. Danvers tells the narrator,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The narrator stands by the window with Mrs. Danvers, looking down at Maxim, who’s rushing from the direction of the water. Maxim yells that a ship has run... (full context)
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...that she should go downstairs to provide help. Then Danvers asks the narrator to tell Maxim that there will be a hot meal waiting for the men on the ship, if... (full context)
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The narrator walks downstairs, where she finds Frith, who tells her that Maxim was here only a minute ago—he’s run back to the ocean. The narrator walks outside... (full context)
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...ship back to the water. In the meantime, Frank assures the narrator, the sailors are fine—Maxim will probably invite them all back to Manderley later. A coastguard, who’s standing nearby, adds... (full context)
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The narrator returns to the house, and asks Robert if Maxim has been home. Robert says that Maxim has just left, without saying when he’ll be... (full context)
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Suddenly, Maxim enters the house and sees Captain Searle and the narrator talking. He asks Searle if... (full context)
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The narrator goes on to discuss the previous night with Maxim. She asks Maxim if he’d thought she’d worn Rebecca’s dress on purpose, but Maxim says... (full context)
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Maxim tells the narrator what Captain Searle has just told him, but the narrator cuts him... (full context)
Chapter 20
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The narrator stands in the library with Maxim, having just learned that he murdered Rebecca. There is no horror in the narrator’s heart—she... (full context)
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The narrator tries to express what she’s feeling to Maxim, but instead of listening, Maxim explains what will happen next. The police will identify Rebecca’s... (full context)
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Maxim explains more about Rebecca. Rebecca, he claims, was “damnably clever,” and extremely talented at saying... (full context)
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Maxim goes on to explain that he could never divorce Rebecca—there would be too much suspicion,... (full context)
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Over the years, Maxim explains, he was loyal to Rebecca because she helped reshape Manderley into a grand estate.... (full context)
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Maxim explains that Rebecca had a cousin, Jack Favell, who lived in London. The narrator nods... (full context)
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One night, Maxim went down to the cottage with a gun, thinking that he’d surprise Rebecca and Favell.... (full context)
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Maxim carries Rebecca’s dead body to the sea, where he throws her in a boat and... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Maxim goes to answer the phone, leaving the narrator alone. She has the strong sense that... (full context)
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Maxim returns from answering the phone, and explains that he’s just spoken to Colonel Julyan, the... (full context)
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The next morning, the narrator wakes up to find that Maxim has already left the house, presumably to meet with Colonel Julyan and Captain Searle. The... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Colonel Julyan comes to Manderley with Maxim and Frank Crawley. The narrator remembers seeing the Colonel at the ball, dressed as Oliver... (full context)
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Colonel Julyan thanks the narrator and Maxim for their patience, and bids them good day. Maxim and the narrator go to speak... (full context)
Chapter 22
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The narrator reads the newspaper stories about Maxim. They describe Rebecca as beautiful, brilliant, and talented, and suggest that Maxim was a vile,... (full context)
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On the day of the inquest, Maxim and the narrator have lunch at one. The narrator is extremely nervous, and eats nothing.... (full context)
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After Tabb stands down, it’s time for Maxim to speak about the boat. Horridge, the coroner, asks him if he knew about the... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...back to Manderley, but the narrator insists that she wants to stay and listen to Maxim talk to Horridge. The narrator says that she’s worried for Maxim, since it’s come out... (full context)
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...drives the narrator back to Manderley, and then drives back to the station to assist Maxim. The narrator walks to her room and lies down in bed, trying to make sense... (full context)
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Hours later, Maxim enters the narrator’s bedroom. He explains, “it’s all over.” The Coroner has concluded that Rebecca... (full context)
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Maxim says he’s going to the crypt on Manderley property, where Rebecca will be buried that... (full context)
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...narrator goes downstairs to greet Jack Favell, who’s smiling oddly. Favell asks the narrator if Maxim is “running off.” He notes that the narrator has grown up since they last spoke—she... (full context)
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Maxim returns to Manderley and finds the narrator talking to Jack Favell. Jack greets Maxim cheerily... (full context)
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Maxim calmly says that Favell should leave, or he’ll call Colonel Julyan and tell him about... (full context)
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...about shooting him and hiding the body. After more than an hour, Colonel Julyan arrives. Maxim greets Julyan and introduces him to Favell. Favell tells Julyan he has important information to... (full context)
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...He asks Favell what he thinks happened to Rebecca. Favell replies, without any hesitation, that Maxim murdered Rebecca. (full context)
Chapter 24
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Jack Favell has just suggested that Maxim killed Rebecca. Favell laughs hysterically, and the narrator notices that Colonel Julyan, who’s been listening... (full context)
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...conclusion: he tells Julyan that they should speak to Ben, who may well have seen Maxim with Rebecca on the night of her murder. Julyan nods and tells Robert to go... (full context)
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While Frank, Favell, Julyan, Maxim, and the narrator wait for Robert to find Ben, Favell insults Frank. He says that... (full context)
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...the truth about Rebecca: she’d been “living” with Favell for years during her marriage to Maxim, and was in love with him. Mrs. Danvers denies this without so much as a... (full context)
Chapter 25
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The narrator stands in her home, looking at Colonel Julyan, Frank, Favell, Mrs. Danvers, and Maxim. She sees a look of utter despair on Maxim’s face—now he knows he’s going to... (full context)
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As Julyan, Maxim, and Favell argue, the narrator notices that Mrs. Danvers is looking at Maxim with utter... (full context)
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...tomorrow evening at the earliest. Favell objects that Julyan will need to keep watch on Maxim in the meantime to make sure he doesn’t flee the country. Julyan hesitates, then tells... (full context)
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Favell, Colonel Julyan, and Mrs. Danvers leave the room, leaving Maxim with Frank and the narrator. Frank goes to make sure that Favell and Julyan leave... (full context)
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...has just been publicly announced. The narrator doesn’t mention Favell at all, but says that Maxim is in a state of shock after the verdict. Beatrice insists that Maxim must try... (full context)
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The narrator abruptly hangs up the phone and turns to Maxim. Beatrice calls again, but neither she nor Maxim answer. The narrator and Maxim kiss, feverishly,... (full context)
Chapter 26
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The narrator goes to wake Maxim, and they eat breakfast in silence. At nine, Maxim and the narrator get in their... (full context)
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...suicide, and Dr. Baker can help Julyan conclude that the suicide was actually a murder. Maxim explains that they’ve found Baker’s phone number in Rebecca de Winter’s diary, suggesting that Rebecca... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...tells Favell to go home and to never see him again—Favell has tried to blackmail Maxim, and he’s failed. Favell smirks and admits that Maxim has ”dodged a bullet,” but still... (full context)
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Colonel Julyan watches Favell drive away. He asks Maxim if he had any idea that Rebecca had cancer—Maxim says he didn’t. Julyan suggests that... (full context)
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Colonel Julyan advises Maxim and the narrator to get out of England for a while to avoid the gossip... (full context)
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The narrator and Maxim stop along the way back to Manderley to eat dinner at a London restaurant. Inside,... (full context)
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At the restaurant, Maxim places a call to Frank. Frank reports that Mrs. Danvers has disappeared from Manderley: no... (full context)
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...narrator dreams about returning to her home and seeing Mrs. Danvers there. She suggests to Maxim that they travel to Switzerland, as Colonel Julyan suggested. (full context)
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...takes another nap. When she wakes up, it’s very late at night, and she and Maxim are almost back home. Over a hill in the distance, Maxim glimpses a flash of... (full context)