BLURB: “Her mother’s dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman’s warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn. Affected by the inn’s brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her intention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust…”
REVIEW: As any frequent visitors to this blog will know, I recently read Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ and absolutely adored it, which led to me ordering a wide selection of her other works; including this, ‘Jamaica Inn’. I was once again amazed and impressed by du Maurier’s ability to create such tense and brooding atmospheres that serve to put the reader constantly on edge – her use of the moors in this text reminded me somewhat of Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ – and also her ability to write characters that we constantly doubt and are uncertain of, even if they appear on the surface to be good and trustworthy people. The character of Joss Merlyn is truly terrifying, mainly due to how realistic his character is. The tactics of intimidation and threat he uses are ones we commonly know of and see in society today and this makes us even more fearful of his intentions towards Mary, whom the reader quickly grows attached to due to her courageous and spirited nature. Her relationship with Jem Merlyn, the younger brother of her tormentor, is beautifully developed and we truly feel Mary’s confusion and reluctance as her feelings for him to grow. Just like in ‘Rebecca’, the twist at the end of the book is extremely shocking and, although I had suspected a part of it, still good enough to have me on the edge of my seat. I am sure I will soon be writing many more favourable reviews of Daphne du Maurier’s other works.