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4.6 out of 5 stars143
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on 3 December 2007
A holiday in Cornwall would not be complete without a Du Maurier to read. I have just reread this one many years after I first enjoyed it, and I still loved it.
Dona St Columb is a spoilt aristocratic lady who is married to a man that she doesn't care for. She has indulged in wilder and wilder pranks in order to keep boredom at bay, becoming the talk of London in the process. At the opening of the story, she has finally become disgusted and ashamed of her behaviour and is fleeing with her children to her husband's remote Cornish estate. There she finds the freedom, and adventure that she has craved when a French pirate ship is moored in the creek below her house. As ever, Du Maurier's descriptions of Cornwall are beautiful, and so wonderfully evocative. The opening passage, where a modern day holiday maker ventures a little way down the mysterious and silent creek in his boat is a perfect taster for what is to come. As one other reviewer has mentioned, Du Maurier obviously wasn't striving for realism in this story. But if you are going to write about a romance between a pirate and a lady, you might as well let yourself go - which she has done most enjoyably.
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on 10 June 2005
While the classic "Rebecca" is widely regarded as Daphne du Maurier's best work, I believe that "Frenchman's Creek" is also worthy of recognition. This is a lovely tale of an upper-class woman who is bored of her pompous daily life and desperately desires the freedom to do as she pleases, and as I found this theme interesting I was absorbed in the novel from the first page. As ever, du Maurier uses extensive, sophisticated vocabulary, which makes this novel a great challenge for teenagers and upwards, but possibly too difficult to follow for younger readers. While this novel is not a relentless page-turner, the plot is more adventurous than that of other du Maurier novels and I found myself wishing to read on more often than not, eager to discover what Lady Dona and her newly found true love, Jean-Pierre Aubery, would encounter next as they sailed on Aubery's pirate ship.
If you are not a romance or history lover, do not be discouraged from purchasing this wonderful novel. I generally stay clear of this genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Frenchman's Creek"; the romance is slight and is not over-the-top. The characters have been deeply thought out and are in no way superficial, while du Maurier's carefully chosen words perfectly paint a picture of the beautiful setting, whether it is in the middle of the English Channel or at the trademark grand house in the midst of breathtaking gardens. A refreshing read for lovers of intelligently written work.
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on 28 July 2005
If you're a romantic like me or a fan of history (like me again)you've just got to read this, and even if you're not still read it (don't worry it doesnt go all soppy or go into huge long descriptions of period costume!) The book is basically about Lady Dona St Column who is bored of her life and longing, not only for some excitement, but for something with some meaning. She escapes to the cornish coast where she meats a dashing pirate wanted by all her "friends" and embarks on an exciting adventure. This is a must-read for everyone 13 and over! It'll blow you away!
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on 16 November 2014
I do believe out of all of Daphne Du Maurier's books this is her best. Although it's more likely to be read by people who enjoy historical romance involving Pirates and Ladies after a read of the plot summary, its not at all soppy or over the top like many Regency Romances are. Its written about quite beautifully and it doesn't over romanticize the life of a pirate. At the end both Lady Dona and her French Pirate lover have to face the reality of their individual circumstances and realise at some point they have to return to the real world and their mundane lives. I think this is the bit I didn't like I wanted a happy ending and I wanted Lady Dona to sail into the sunset with her pirate but instead she returns to her bore of a husband for the sake of her children and her precious reputation :) I guess this is reality but being a parent I can understand she couldn't possibly part from her children or jeopardise their future in any way even for true love!
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on 16 March 2004
If you crave adventure and romance, read this. Dona and her Frenchman will captivate you. As you would expect from Daphne du Maurier, the language is so rich that you can see, hear, smell and taste Cornwall. This story is a joy from start to finish. Read it.
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on 5 August 2013
Tired and bored by her marriage to her wealthy husband, Lady Dona St Columb has tried to kill boredom by living a self-indulgent and independent lifestyle but not without attracting some unwelcome gossip and scandal from the perception of the London cognoscenti of her circle.

Pangs of self disgust drive her to take her children out of the London scene and find sanctuary in the seclusion of her husband's estate way out in Cornwall. When a pirate ship with French crew anchors in the inlet close to the estate, so begins the more rustic and romantic encounter that gives her life the significance it lacked with the man who, she perceived, as her boring husband.

Although Dona on one level seems spoilt and apparently shallow there is still power in the story in so far as she has the frailty of most of us to be tempted and to seek adventure beyond the mundane. This she does and, coupled with the atmospheric descriptions of the Cornish coast, I really enjoyed this one.
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on 8 March 2004
This book is outstanding.Full of romance,danger and excitmeant.Another one of Daphne Du mauier's great novels.It wasn't something i was planning to read but i'm glad i did.There is nothing dull or plain about this book.I would recommend this book to anyone over 13.
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on 11 May 2016
I love all Daphne Du Maurier's books and Frenchman's Creek is no exception, though it is not one of my favourites as I have trouble with books where I can't sympathise with the characters. In this case, the heroine is Lady Dona, a woman who lives a privileged life but who struggles with the temptation to leave her husband (who she dislikes) and her children (who she seems to love, but only because she feels it is her duty) and run away to sea with a pirate - the Frenchman. It's a fast-moving story which uses characatures to contrast the courtly life Dona has tired of with the adventure and romance she finds with the Frenchman, building to a climax as her two worlds collide with fatal consequences.
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on 30 June 2010
If you like piracy, skullduggery and love this book is the one for you. I first read this book when I was a teenager and decided to re-read Daphne Du Maurier when my bookclub read Jamaica Inn. Frenchmen's Creek is beautifully written set amongst the cornish coastline and if you've never been you will want to go. This book has adventure, romance and a "love conquerors all element". A truly wonderful read. Once read never forgotten.
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on 12 February 2005
I love this book so much. It's so captivating, suspenseful, and romantic. It is a really stunning book, and I can't remember the last time I read a book so stunningly written. I love it, and I'm sure you will too.
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