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

by Daphne du Maurier 

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,565772,342 (3.76)1 / 328
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
    Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield (Becchanalia)
  5. 00
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (sturlington)
  6. 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.
  7. 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 (71)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All (77)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
3.5-4. Mary Yellen is a 23 year old who lives on a peaceful farm when her mom dies. She is forced to move in with her aunt Patience and terrifying uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn (which is a real 18th century Inn, made famous by this novel-- the structure still stands). Jamaica Inn has a bad reputation mainly because Joss Merlyn hosts evenings with pirates and bad company. Mary stays at the Inn for her aunt. What follows midway through the novel is a romance with an unexpected character (won't spoil it). The atmosphere of this novel is very Gothic, mainly due to the night time pirates and the fog-covered moors by which the Inn is surrounded.
Du Maurier is an excellent storyteller. Her descriptions, the atmosphere, character depth, and language uses are absolutely flawless. I will definitely read Rebecca in the near future. What I did not enjoy was that Jamaica Inn (published 1936) tried very hard to sound like Wuthering Heights(1847). The two works are almost 90 years apart and I think Du Maurier could have really accomplished more in her novel if she would have used the tools and writing techniques developed in that time for an atmosphere suitable for her contemporary audience (we're even past the Jazz age at this point). In addition, the romance which begins half-way through the novel feels very forced. The relationship is not developed nor explored and feels unnecessary, which is why the second part of the novel really lacks substance and the narrative takes several directions after the half way point. This is a shame because it really takes away from the great atmosphere built in the first half. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes Gothic novels, and pirates! Also I would count this novel as straddling the line of a "classic" and "mainstream literature from that time." It's not too heavy but it's well written. I will definitely read more by this author. ( )
  AndreeaMarin | Mar 1, 2017 |
I adored this book; nearly as much as Rebecca to be honest. I'm not quite sure what it is about Daphne du Maurier's writing that captivates me so but she never fails to draw me in. Don't let the cover of this book fool you. It is not romance novel fluff by any means. The imagery is powerful and in many ways reminds me of Wuthering Heights with its gothic elements. This is a nice, quick read. My only complaint lies in that the prime suspect of the novel was easy to weed out and fairly predictable. Nonetheless, I remain highly pleased with this work. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Nov 23, 2016 |
If you have ever gotten annoyed by female protagonists in your favourite Gothic novels being unreasonably weak and lovelorn, this is the book for you. Just as Gothic novels should be, it is super moody with excellent imagery and a constantly foggy moor. There are the inevitable twists: the obvious antagonist, the less obvious antagonist except we've all grown up with the evil religious albino trope so we could all see that twist coming from a mile away, c'mon, especially after that almost-sexual-release introductory scene where he urges the horses through the uneven grounds in the rain at the deathly-exhilarating speed, and the antagonistic love interest oddly enough, another Mary and Jem coupling, did they learn nothing from Mary Barton?, but best of all is the protagonist Mary. She is just feisty enough without being too comically so. We can see the slight hardness and twistedness in her that makes it plausible for her to seek out and withstand the tempestuous escapades while also falling for the bad-boy. The poor aunt was of course only used as a plot device but with such atmospheric and adrenaline-pumping setting, who cares about the flaws?

Aside: How to spot cruelty in a person in a Gothic novel: the shape of their mouth. It's so fun to hear the nineteenth century being referred to as the pinnacle of modernity. ( )
  kitzyl | Oct 28, 2016 |
I wanted to read this book because I heard duMaurier's writing style was very similar to Mary Stewart's and I like Stewart's Gothic style. This had the same flavor and it was a decent read but I still enjoy Stewart's stories alot more. I felt like duMaurier's characters didn't do a very good job of portraying alot of what was happening. They were vague and it was almost like you had to infer for yourself the meaning and gist of everything. That may have had alot to do with the era and it not being proper for ladies to talk or write about many topics. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
I wanted to read this book because I heard duMaurier's writing style was very similar to Mary Stewart's and I like Stewart's Gothic style. This had the same flavor and it was a decent read but I still enjoy Stewart's stories alot more. I felt like duMaurier's characters didn't do a very good job of portraying alot of what was happening. They were vague and it was almost like you had to infer for yourself the meaning and gist of everything. That may have had alot to do with the era and it not being proper for ladies to talk or write about many topics. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
du Maurier, Daphneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britton, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome 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.
Jamaica Inn opens with echoes of Dracula: a carriage rattling through the desolate landscape and wild weather to a place where even the locals don't go, so ferocious is its reputation. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -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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