Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frenchman's Creek; Daphne DuMaurier

This was a Read-A-Long with Jo@ BiblioJunkie
(be sure to check out what Jo has to say about this one)

Title: Frenchman's Creek
Author: Daphne DuMaurier
Publication Year: (1941) (2009-my edition)
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Edition: trade softcover
Source: purchase
Location: Cornwall
Date Completed: 9/ 6 /2011 
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

Frenchman's Creek is my third novel by Daphne DuMaurier, after Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. I loved both of those novels because of the dark and Gothic feel, not to mention the fabulous writing, and while the writing is beautiful in this novel as well, it almost felt like a blend of romance and fantasy to me.

 Lady Dona St Columb, is approaching her 30th birthday. An upper-class society lady in London, she's the mother of two young children, bored with high society life, and tired of her husband Harry's drinking and card playing.  Almost as an excuse to escape her present circumstances, she pulls a prank at a society function on an older woman, a Countess.  The following morning she summons her carriage and she flees, along with the two children to her husband's country home, Navron House, on Cornwall's countryside.  (a beginning which felt very much like Jamaica Inn, but it was not.)

Lady Dona, loves the home in the country even though all the servants are gone except for William. She loves her new freedom, likes to garden and she even doesn't mind getting dirty, and her walks along the sea give her plenty of alone time to reflect on her situation.  One day she see a  ship near a cove and soon discovers that it is a pirate ship, and probably the one that has been stealing from the local people in Cornwall.  She is drawn to this group of happy pirates, and especially one pirate in particular, the "Frenchman", Jean Benoit de Aubery. She joins them on one of their escapades, and soon is enamoured by what she's experienced -- the sense of adventure she was searching for. Will she find a new long term love in adventurous Jean Benoit, or will she return home with the children to her husband Harry?

As with DuMaurier's previous novels, this one is also very atmospheric. Both the weather and descriptiveness of place drew me in big time. There are so many beautiful passages about nature, adventure and love. At first I didn't care for Lady Dona as she seemed like a spoiled-society brat, but then suddenly I began to admire her boldness. She was a head-strong woman, not afraid of taking risks, who by taking chances discovered who she was and what was most important to her in life.  Not my favorite DuMaurier novel to date, but still a terrific historical novel that would be hard for most readers to enjoy at least on some levels.

31 comments:

  1. I must read more Daphne. Just been told that Emily Barr's book is very similar to Rebecca.

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  2. It sounds like it has elements from both Rebecca (the beautiful Cornish home, love of gardening, headstrong society woman) and Jamaica Inn entwined in this one. It's definitely going on my wishlist as I enjoyed both of those novels. (Plus I love reading about Cornwall, having lived there for seven years)

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  3. This is one of my favorites of DuMaurier's books. I've read it at least twice! So romantic!

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  4. Like Viv, I need to read more Daphne, too! A couple on my wish list ahead of this one, but it does sound very good.

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  5. I love this book! I just recently re-read it for the umpteenth time!

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  6. Frenchman's Creek was a good read but Rebecca is still my all time fave of DuMaurier.

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  7. I need to read more of the classics. This sounds interesting so I may try it.

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  8. I have not ever read anything by this author, but you make this book sound great! I have also heard other wonderful things about Rebecca as well. I think that it's about time that I dig in and try something by DuMaurier, as I am starting to think I am really ill-read! Great review by the way!

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  9. I loved this book--nice review.

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  10. Rebecca is on my all time list of favorites so I am always open to reading another of her novels. I am amazed at how many more DuMaurier books I have become aware of this year. Stupidly I thought she had only written a few and now I have discovered that I have been missing many!

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  11. I definitely want to read more from du Maurier. Thus far, I have only read Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel.

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  12. I have not read any books by Daphne DuMaurier but I did pick up a copy of Rebecca. I just need to be brave and jump into reading it. This book sounds very good as well. Another book for my some day list. Great review.

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  13. Until I started reading blogs, I thought duMaurier wrote romance. She's on my list of authors I want to try.

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  14. when I read this, it was my fav by the author...but then it was the first....lol
    but I still thought it was very good.

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  15. I loved this book when I read it many years ago...just as I loved Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.

    Of course I'm going to have to read all three of these again! Maybe I'll try to get them from the library, since my bookshelves are overflowing again!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Can you believe I haven't read Rebecca either?? So many classics that need me to read them ;)

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  17. I like the sound of this book, great review :)

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  18. I have Rebecca but haven't read it yet. Thanks for the reminder that I really am missing out on something.

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  19. I haven't even read one yet by this author!! I loved your thoughts on this one and I adore atmospheric books that's for sure!!!

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  20. I've never read DuMaurier's books, but I should.

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  21. I've only ever read Rebecca but perhaps I need to branch out since I loved it so much!

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  22. Hmm another DuMaurier to add to my list. She is fast becoming one of my favorites!

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  23. I have not read Rebecca even :( I have to really get to her books.

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  24. I've only read Daphne DuMaurier's REBECCA, which I hope to re-read before picking up THE LANTERN (have you read this contemporary twist?).

    Thanks for the review of FRENCHMAN'S CREEK (more to be added to the wish list!)

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  25. I really want to read this at some point. My library doesn't have it, so I am going to have to start buying her books soon...

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  26. I know I read this years and years ago. I don't have much memory of it, though. I like the idea of a read-a-long. I think I need to hook up with one of those!

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  27. I absolutely love the cover! Your review makes my mouth water... going to hunt this one down - fingers crossed for same COVER ;)

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  28. I read this one a while back and enjoyed it too. I have yet to read Rebecca though.

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  29. Thank you so much for the mention Diane. It's a coincidence that we are reading Du Maurier's books in similar order! I too started off not liking Dona that much but it is a great fantasy for her to be able to escape to such an exhilarating adventure and not feel like she is a cog on a wheel. Apologies for not checking your post earlier. I posted mine on early morning past midnight!

    I'm glad you like it and thank you so much for reading this with me!

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  30. After reading Rebecca, I know that DuMaurier writes the way I like to read - I will definitely be picking up more of her work! Great review!

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  31. I have been falling in love with Daphne du Maurier this year ~ must add this story to the pile as well.

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