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Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier 
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Jamaica Inn (original 1936; edition 1936)

by Daphne du Maurier 

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2,238542,868 (3.74)1 / 260
Member:sandykaypax
Title:Jamaica Inn
Authors:Daphne du Maurier 
Info:Triangle Books 1936 (1936), Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, mystery, UK

Work details

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (1936)

  1. 60
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (katie4098)
  2. 10
    Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving a complex central character worth a good read.
  3. 10
    To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving themes of smuggling and alcoholism.
  4. 00
    Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons (silva_44)
    silva_44: Although the plot isn't very similar, Burnt Mountain reminds me of Jamaica Inn because of the peculiar psychotic actions of characters in each.
  5. 23
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (AdonisGuilfoyle)
    AdonisGuilfoyle: Mary Yellan reminded me very much of Gaskell's heroine Margaret Hale: both are young, outspoken, and are strong enough to cope with life's hardships and sorrows. And there is a comparison of 'north' and 'south' Cornwall in Du Maurier's novel, too!… (more)
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English (49)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellen journeys to the windswept Cornish coast to stay at the foreboding Jamaica Inn. She arrives at her aunt and uncle's inn to fulfill her mother's dying wish. Although the coachman tries to warn her to stay away from the ramshackled, ruined place, Mary chooses to stay and honor her late mother's final request.

So, Mary will join her relatives - her frightened Aunt Patience and her imposing Uncle Joss Merlyn - and do her best to ignore the various rumors swirling about the place. With the coachman's dire warning still echoing in her ears, Mary will witness her Aunt Patience cowering in fear before her dour Uncle Joss. Terrified by the inn's looming shadow and its brooding darkness, Mary gradually finds herself becoming ensnared in the various devious schemes being enacted behind its crumbling walls - and tempted to love a man she dares not trust.

I really enjoyed reading this book very much; in my opinion, the story was certainly very good and I wanted to find out what would happen next. Although, I will say that I found the story just the slightest bit overly theatrical for me. I absolutely love Daphne du Maurier's writing style; she certainly knew how to create a frightening and suspenseful atmosphere.

I would always literally get lost in Ms. Du Maurier's books every time I read one. However, Jamaica Inn was a slightly different reading experience for me; I never entirely lost myself along the wild Cornish moors while I read this particular book. In my opinion, while this was still a very good story, I don't think it was Daphne du Maurier's best work. Although, I would still give Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier an A! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Apr 15, 2015 |
Mary Yellan's mother dies. Her final request was that Mary seek shelter with her Aunt Patience. Mary soon discovers that Jamaica Inn is not respectable and that her aunt is putting up with a despicable husband who is both an alcoholic and a smuggler. While wandering on the moors, Mary encounters an albino clergyman. She finds herself falling in love with her uncle's horse-thieving brother. The characters are well drawn. The novel is dark. It's far from my favorite DuMaurier, but it was nice to revisit this book I'd read about 35 to 40 years ago. ( )
  thornton37814 | Apr 2, 2015 |
When young Mary Yellan's mother, lying on her deathbed, makes her daughter promise she will seek out her aunt Patience for shelter, the dying woman can have no idea of the curse she is putting on her daughter. On the way to Jamaica Inn by coach, where Mary Yellan has learned her aunt has been living with her husband, she learns that the inn has earned a terrible reputation and that no proper lady or gentleman dare approach the place. Upon arrival, she discovers her aunt Patience is half mad with fear and that her uncle Joss Merlyn is a violent drunken brute who threatens her to keep her place and to take no notice of the nightly goings on; that she is to keep her eyes and ears shut and ignore any strange noises or risk bodily harm. But Mary is curious and headstrong and soon finds out her uncle is a smuggler involved in terrible crimes. She resolves to bring him to justice, putting herself in great peril, though she doesn't want to put her aunt at risk as well. An exciting adventure with truly evil characters and a surprising plot twist near the end. I really enjoy Rebecca du Maurier and only seem to grow fonder of her writing with every book of hers I read—her unique mixture of strange human behaviour with beautiful descriptions of the wilds of Cornwall make for an irresistible combination. ( )
  Smiler69 | Mar 29, 2015 |
The writing in this is so very atmospheric that whilst I was tucked up warm in bed I could swear I felt the cold and shivered.
Mary Yellan's family has died and she can no longer run the farm in Southern Cornwall by herself. She goes to live with her aunt, who is married to the landlord of an Inn on the loneliest part of Bodmin. Before she arrives she hears the bad reputation of the place. The reality is every bit as bad as the stories. Her aunt is no longer the gay women she remembers, instead Patience is a broken woman, browbeaten as well as actually beaten, and mentally broken down. The landlord is clearly involved in nefarious activity and Mary is told, in no uncertain terms, to close her eyes and stop her ears and to keep her mouth shut. However Mary doesn't exactly do as she is told. She stands up to her uncle in several small ways, while being unable to, yet, turn him in and escape the place.
While staying at the Inn she meets two men, Jem, the landlord's younger brother & horse thief and Frances Davy, the vicar of the nearest village. They are both unknown quantities, and Mary is not certain if she can trust herself in her reaction to them. The climax takes place over the space of a few days around Christmas. It is quite fast moving and quite violent. It doesn't all end happily, and there is a final twist of the plot in the last few chapters that I didn't see coming at all. The final chapter is less of a surprise, after the denouement, Mary does escape, and she will live again. ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 27, 2015 |
This is an excellent, suspenseful book. I particularly enjoyed the setting of Cornwall: the moors and the tors and the marshes are all skilfully rendered, making me want to pay a visit someday. Mary is also a resourceful character. She may sometimes be too reckless for her own good, but she takes responsibility for her actions and acts out of a sense of what is right. It took me a chapter to really get into it, but once I was in, I was hooked. I probably should have seen the twist coming, but it came as a surprise regardless.

Highly recommended for those who enjoyed Rebecca. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunant, SarahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Jamaica Inn stands today, hospitable and kindly, a temperance house on the twenty-mile road between Bodmin and Launceston.

In the following story of adventure I have pictured it as it might have been over a hundred and twenty years ago; and although existing place names figure in the pages, the characters and events described are entirely imaginary.

Daphne du Maurier
Bodinnick-by-Fowey
October 1935
Dedication
First words
It was a cold grey day in late November.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
VIRAGO EDITION:
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 attention 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...
A huge success on first publication, Jamaica Inn is a dark and intriguing gothic tale that will remind readers of two other great classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380725398, Mass Market Paperback)

Jamaica Inn is a true classic. After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan travels to Jamaica Inn on the wild British moors to live with her Aunt Patience. The coachman warns her of the strange happenings there, but Mary is committed to remain at Jamaica Inn. Suddenly, her life is in the hands of strangers: her uncle, Joss Merlyn, whose crude ways repel her; Aunt Patience, who seems mentally unstable and perpetually frightened; and the enigmatic Francis Davey. But most importantly, Mary meets Jem Merlyn, Joss's younger brother, whose kisses make her heart race. Caught up in the danger at this inn of evil repute, Mary must survive murder, mystery, storms, and smugglers before she can build a life with Jem.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The inn is derelict, and no decent folks will come to it, speaking of it in fearful whispers. When Mary Yellan joins her aunt, married to the owner, she soon finds she has but two friends on the wild moors--the mysterious parson and an insolent, likeable horsethief.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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