The Daphne DuMaurier Collection
Last year my mother bought and read Jamaica Inn, she enjoyed it so much that she thought I should give it a try, and I did. What a fantastic read! The novel is full of suspense, thrills, romance, action and plenty of adventure, from the beginning of the very first chapter you are thrown into dark world of Mary Yellan.
'It was a cold grey day in late November. The weather had changed overnight, when a backing wind brought a granite sky and a mizzling rain with it, and although it was now only a little after two o'clock in the afternoon the pallor of a winter evening seemed to have closed upon the hills, cloaking them in mist'.'
One of the great things I find with Daphne DuMaurier's books is the description which help to immerse the reader fully. The story follows Mary Yellan who follows her mother's dying request to join her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn. When Mary arrives, after a depressing journey across the bleak moors of Cornwall, she finds a shadow of her Aunt Patience and her brutal husband, Joss Merlyn. Before long, Mary realises that dark things are happening at Jamaica Inn and soon she is unwillingly drawn into her uncle's dark misgivings whilst drawn to a man she cannot trust.
I read Jamaica Inn while holidaying in the Lake District and it was a book that I could not put down. I do not want to ruin the story for others but towards the middle of the novel the atmosphere is so tense that you almost imagine being part of the story.
'They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days. Not any more, though.'
All three novels are great reads with plenty of suspense, drama, thrills and spills, mysterious characters, compelling plot lines and topped off with stunning, imaginative description. I've had a bit of a Daphne DuMaurier year through reading the novels above and watching Hitchcock's adaptations of Rebecca and The Birds. I also caught an ITV version of 'The Scapegoat', another novel by DuMaurier that is next on my reading list. You can watch adaptations of both Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel. I have not seen the latter but if you were to watch Jamaica Inn I would go with the television adaptation starring Jane Seymour which is much more true to the original story.
Have you read any books by Daphne DuMaurier? What are your thoughts?