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

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

All the books I got over the last month. A lot of books!

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness #2) by Tamora Pierce
The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1) by Michael Scott
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
The Taker by Alma Katsu
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson 
Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast 
The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Discovering Your Spirit Animal: The Wisdom of the Shamans by Lucy Harmer 
Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant #2) by Ben Aaronovitch  

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl
The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James

What about you? :)


Review: Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad

Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad
Goodreads    Book Depository


“Yes; he was a castaway. A poor emigrant from Central Europe bound to America and washed ashore here in a storm. And for him, who knew nothing of the earth, England was an undiscovered country…” 

This is a powerful story of a young man, Yanko, who intended to go to America to gain some money for his family. However, his ship wrecks near the shores of Kent. He is the only one who survives. Literally swept from the sea he is disoriented, shocked, and looking like an asylum runaway. The natives who totally fail to connect him with the wrecked ship find him scary, and the way they treat him is rather shameful.
Yanko is without doubt inspired by Joseph Conrad himself, because he indeed felt like an exile in England. There are only a few people who help and accept Yanko. One of them is the narrator Doctor Kennedy who used to live in different parts of Europe, so his cosmopolitanism is the reason why he's not afraid to accept someone so different from his own culture. Obviously the main purpose of this story is to capture the feeling of alienation. Alienation that can be very torturous, but alienation which can also, quite unlikely, connect you with other people. And that's what happens to Yanko when he meets Amy Foster, a rather plain and dull woman who is an outsider in her own country. So two outsiders fall in love, not an unusual thing, but its tragic ending in this case makes this a powerful and heartbreaking story.