Review: Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier


"The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother's dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn's dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls -- or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions ... tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust."

This is only the second book by Daphne du Maurier I've read. First was My Cousin Rachel which I loved, even though I was literally shouting at the main male character by the end of the book. Just read it, and you'll find out why :)
I think that all books by du Maurier have some common attributes, they can all be labeled as "gothic", at least to some extent. But all of them are special as well, Jamaica Inn is a bit different when it comes to the dynamics of writing. I've read many reviews where people were complaining how long and boring this book was. That nothing really happened most of the time. It is true that the first half is very slow and kind of dull, but I believe that was made on purpose. I think that the author tried (and succeeded) to create the atmosphere of an unpleasant place which puts one in the half-asleep state while the disturbing feeling that something very wrong is going on is still present. This might not work for everyone, but I liked it.
The second part is very bloody and unpleasant as well, and the finale is not amazing, but fairly good. 
I also quite enjoyed the love aspect of this book. It wasn't cheesy or sugar sweet, which I appreciate. There were some sweet moments, but with a certain roughness to it as well. And this is actually what I liked the most about this book. Through Mary's almost fantastic and nightmarish adventures and experience du Maurier captured the bittersweet complexity of life.
All in all it wasn't the best book ever, but I'm glad I've read it.

And two more things. 
First, why is the one who likes the old pagan gods the villain? A bit cliché! 

Second, Bodmin Moor is a beautiful place! If you are ever in Cornwall, don't hesitate and visit Jamaica Inn ;)

Here are some pictures!



Jamaica Inn
Daphne du Maurier and her husband
Bodmin Moor/Wild Horses

Bodmin Moor/Cheesewring
Bodmin Moor/Cheesewring


.alana. said...

love the pics! thnks for the review!

Petra said...

The nature there is amazing, I especially like the wild horses! :)

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