Having fallen in love with Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, I was anxious to read something else by her. I was not disappointed with Jamaica Inn.
It's the 1800's and Mary Yellan is a twenty three year old woman who has lived her life on a farm in Helston. She helped her mother with the family farm after her father passed away. When her mother loses her will to live, she shares with Mary her final wish. She says that Mary is to go to live with her Aunt Patience in Bodmin after she dies. Patience' husband Joss Merlyn is the Innkeeper of Jamaica Inn.
Mary arrives at the gloomy inn, and is shocked by the woman her Aunt Patience has become. Formerly outgoing and cheerful, now she is nervous, quiet, aloof and frightened. Her husband, Joss is creepy, mean and secretive, and Mary realizes early on that this is not a place for her or her aunt, as danger lurks within the crumbling inn.
(p. 159...."She thought of Aunt Patience, trailing like a ghost in the shadow of her master, and she shuddered. That would be Mary Yellen too, but for the Grace of God and her own strength and will."
Mary wants to escape but she is torn because of the promise she made to her mother. She feels her aunt is not safe with Joss, an alcoholic, and she wants Aunt Patience to escape as well. Strange things are going on at the inn on the Cornish coast. I don't want to give spoilers, but there are never any guests and is not even open to the public, and secretive things happen late at night at Jamaica Inn.
MY THOUGHTS - If you like Gothic novels, and stories that evoke the atmosphere of horror and dread, then this novel should be perfect for you.
RECOMMENDED - 4.5/5 stars (Purchased by Me)