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
Author: Daphne DuMaurier
Publication Year: (1941) (2009-my edition)
Edition: trade softcover
Date Completed: 9/ 6 /2011
Rating: 4/5Recommend: 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.