Jamaica Inn (VMC) Paperback – 6 Mar 2003
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Daphne du Maurier has no equal (Sunday Telegraph)
A true classic (Amazon.com)
Jamaica Inn is perhaps the most accomplished historical romance ever written (Good Book Guide)
Jamaica Inn is a first-rate page-turner. (The Times)
A dark tale. A brilliant thriller (Daily Express)
* By one of the 20th century's best loved storytellers.
* A classic tale of murder, mystery and passion - compare to Wuthering Heights.
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Top Customer Reviews
Though Daphne du Maurier is best known for her novel Rebecca, Jamaica Inn appealed more to me because of having been to the place. Though it's undoubtedly changed considerably since du Maurier's time, I can definitely still see how it must have affected her all those years ago. Looking out across the horizon where the moors stretch, I can see how foreboding it must have been; less the hundreds of tourists, village and nearby dual carriageway.
Jamaica Inn is the story of Mary Yellan. Recently orphaned, Mary grants her mother's dying wish by travelling across Cornwall to go and live with her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn, a lonely inn on the Bodmin to Launceston road. However, before arriving, Mary hears all kinds of odd tales about the goings-on at the inn, mainly stories to do with the horrible man that it appears her aunt has married. Sure that the people are exaggerating and her uncle is merely misunderstood, Mary continues on her way. But shortly after arriving at her new home, Mary realises that she has made a mistake. The once-happy Patience is now a shadow of her former self, skulking around and pandering to her husband's every whim. It would appear that the rumours she'd heard were true.
There are few visitors to the inn, and the people that do come are just like her Uncle Joss, loud, uncouth and intimidating.Read more ›
Rebecca is better but this is still an excellent book and will keep you hooked to the twistingly brilliant ending. Faultless writing by, in my opinion, the master storyteller.
What I particulalty like about this book is that it's set in Victorian times, reads very much like a Victiorian novel, but is not blunted by that era's strict censorship (Jamaica Inn was published in the - slightly- freer 1930s). Mary and Jem actually do frolic quite suggestively, despite not being married, and this behaviour is not damned by the narrative.
It is interesting that Hitchcock made films of three Du Maurier works. As well as Jamaica Inn, The Birds and Rebecca are also based on her stories. He must have been a fan.
The story follows a spirited young woman, Mary Yellan; who, after the death of her mother, goes to live with her aunt and bullying tyrant of an uncle in Jamaica Inn. Dark, foreboding and with a fearful reputation amongst the locals, Jamaica Inn immediately impresses itself upon both Mary and the reader as an evil and dangerous place. As the book progresses, Mary's initial suspiscions turn to growing horror as she gradually unravels the mysteries of Jamaica, entangling herself in the dark deeds of her uncle even as she begins to have feelings for his younger brother. As Mary's life hangs in the balance, she turns to a mysterious local vicar for support... but is there anyone she can really trust?
As both a love story and a thrilling mystery, Du Maurier keeps you turning the pages - I often found myself almost unconsciously scanning ahead to find the next twist. You barely have time to enjoy the undeniable quality of Du Maurier's writing as you whizz through the chapters.
Any book that you can't stop reading - even when trying to cook and then eat dinner - definitely deserves 5 stars in my opinion!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As usual Totnes books deliver the goods! Great book and service, ThankyouPublished 3 days ago by GillyBee
Requires too much suspension of disbelief. Melodramatic. Some good descriptions.Published 26 days ago by chris lewis
A cracking read that's as fresh today as at the time of its writing. The story can be taken as an adventure or as a statement on past times.Published 2 months ago by paul roberts
...but far less satisfying if you're a middle aged man.
I read Rebecca some years ago and really enjoyed it. Read more