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Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
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Jamaica Inn (original 1936; edition 2008)

by Daphne Du Maurier

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2,184502,974 (3.76)1 / 205
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Title:Jamaica Inn
Authors:Daphne Du Maurier
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Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (Author) (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 (45)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Jamaica Inn by the English writer Daphne du Maurier is a classic. The story begins with 20 year-old Mary Yellan making her way to Jamaica Inn in a horse drawn coach, the darkness of the moors and the beating rain making her very anxious. Mary lived on a farm in Helford but had to leave after her mother died. As she was dying she asked Mary to go live with her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn. The journey to her aunt is anything but comforting. Upon arrival Mary finds her aunt a different person fro the sparkling, witty laughing woman she remembered. Aunt Patience seems aged 50 years and mutters constantly. She is clearly frightened of something and Mary comes to realize very quickly what, or shall I say who, is the reason. Mary’s Uncle Joss is a wicked man and he has illegal business affairs right there at the inn.

The plot follows a group of murderous wreckers, Joss seemingly one who is in charge. They run ships aground using lanterns on the shore and kill the sailors then steal the cargo. Jamaica Inn is never open to the public yet every few weeks men come in the dark of the night, silently unloading carts of merchandise they have stolen from the wrecked ships.

Mary foolishly becomes attracted to Joss's younger brother, Jem. She realizes Jem does not have anything to do with her uncle’s murderous business although he is a horse thief.
One day Mary decides to track her uncle across the moors so she can report the lot of them to the law. But it gets dark earlier than she thought it would and Mary is stranded, cold and wet and alone in the dark. Miraculously a horse drawn buggy comes along and she is rescued. Francis Davey, an albino vicar who lives in the next village, picks Mary up and takes her to his home. She tells the vicar the improbable tale of her uncle’s business expecting him to help her. He instead points out some weak points in her story and suggests she is letting her imagination get away from her.
There is much more but if you haven’t read Du Maurier’s classic, I don’t want to give away the rest of the story. Soon I would like to read her other popular book, Rebecca. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Sep 29, 2014 |
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 | Sep 26, 2014 |
Read during Winter 2003/2004

A Ripping Good Gothic Romance, not as finely done as Rebecca or My Cousin Rachel, but suspenseful and page turning. Now I know where Victoria Holt got her theme of women who fall for men they hate. However, it was handled so much better that it was not near as distateful as I feared it might be. Another movie rental on the list.
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
3.5 stars

It is the 19th century in England. Mary is 23. Her father died when she was little, so her mother has been taking care of her, solo, for 17 years. When her mother dies, Mary promises her that she'll go live with her Aunt Patience, her mother's sister, who neither of them has seen since before Aunt Patience got married 10 years earlier. When Mary arrives at Jamaica Inn, she learns that her uncle is not very nice (that's putting it mildly!). No one comes to Jamaica Inn because they are scared to. And there seems to be something going on there...

I liked it. I liked Mary (for the most part) and her independence. The book especially picked up in the last third or quarter of the book. It is suspenseful, especially in that last bit of the book. Have to admit that I didn't like the very end, though. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 20, 2014 |
Plenty of Gothic goodness here - this is my second duMaurier (the other being Rebecca) and this page-turner deserves its classic status. I began reading this while on holiday in Cornwall, in homage to the author herself - and it certainly added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment of the book, knowing that the real Jamaica Inn was just a few miles up the road from where I was staying. Unfortunately, I can report that the real Inn has sadly been stripped of all vestigial romance - though the bar has a suitably traditional, historic interior, the adjoining museum (filled with cheesy wax tableaux) and tacky gift shop are pretty dreadful. Good thing I have my imagination - fired by this gripping novel - to rely on. ( )
1 vote Panopticon2 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duAuthorprimary 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
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It was a cold grey day in late November.
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(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
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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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