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on December 3, 2007
After recently reading Rebecca by Du Maurier, I decided to read another of her novels, and this was #2 in a collection I received from my local library. Though I did like Rebecca quite a bit, this one absolutely blew me away.

Jamaica Inn and Du Maurier kept me guessing til the bitter end. Furthermore, Du Maurier's characterizations and incredible use of metaphor have you living, breathing, and dreaming in the moors of the English hills, through the eyes of her often troubled female heroines.

You will be enraged, disgusted, enthralled, and wanting more throughout every page of the novel. Though I'm in the midst of a house move and have a very active toddler, I spent every free minute in the last couple days with my nose in this book!

In other reviews I'd read people mentioned they weren't thrilled with the ending; to that end, the very last two pages were a bit much, but the actual denoument of the book was fantastique!!!

FIVE STARS for another novel well written and much appreciated. Too bad there are not many authors like Du Maurier that find their way into print anymore (but if so, email me whom they are!)
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on May 31, 2003
It may be becasue I am an inexperienced reader, or I do not appreciate the more complex novels - only simple plots, or that this is the first Daphne DuMaurier book that I have read, or that I am under 13 (used this review sheet for children) or that it is the most recent book I have finished (well there are a lot of "well it may be because"s, so I will get on with the review) but I think that this book is the best one that Daphne DuMaurier has written. She never goes over the top with description, or never reveals too much or too little (if it's a mysterious character) about a person's personality. She does everything just right, and weaves the words of the book brilliantly.
In my personal opinion the part where Mary was taken to the shore (I won't reveal too much) dragged on a bit. I kept loosing my place in the book and I found it didn't really matter where I started reading again, but that was just one chapter.
For some reason I think that this book is good to read on holiday, somewhere in Britain, even if it's not Bodmin where this book is set (well, Jamaica Inn is near Bodmin anyway).
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on May 7, 2007
I read this book because someone told me at one of my book signings that Jamaica Inn was the most frightening book she ever read. After reading for several hours right before bed, I awakened terrified, in a cold sweat. Since then, I have studied Du Maurier's style and it is masterful. She has the ability to make the main character feel so real, you imagine you are walking in her shoes. Long after putting the book down, the characters remain with you, as does Jamaica Inn itself and the surrounding countryside. Her books have influenced my own writing. It is a shame that during her lifetime, her books were seen as romance, the pinings of a woman... This is suspense at its very best.
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on October 24, 2014
When Mary arrived at Jamaica Inn, she noticed something was strange in Cornwall. Her foreboding did not improve. Unfortunately, uneasy become nightmare. A nightmare and a love story as strange as the Mare's ride. This book is a masterpiece. I will not compare it to her other books. This book, like the Jamaica Inn, is a monument of itself. And the author. Her story literally meanders across the entire landscape. Mysterious deaths plague the night. Some people are evil, nasty, and cruel. There's fear, loathing, suspense, and a very interesting redemption. Mary is a very strong person. Her mate is as stubborn as she.
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on January 30, 2016
3.5/5 stars
We open the story with Mary Yellan making a journey in dreary weather to the Jamaica Inn, which just the name of incites fear in the surrounding area. Mary would have never chosen this life for herself but it was her mother's dying wish that Mary move off the farm and in with her Aunt Patience. Upon arriving at her new residence she notices her Aunt is not as happy and beautiful as she remembered. Rather Aunt Patience is ragged and cowers in fear of her husband, Joss Merlyn. What exactly is Aunt Patience afraid of and what are the secrets behind the mysterious Jamaica Inn.

I quite enjoyed the book though at times it seemed terribly slow. The characters all had distinct personalities which Du Maurier did a wonderful job of displaying throughout the book. While not exactly a scary story it holds your interest as you try to figure out just what is going on at the inn. My only complaints were the slowness in parts of the book and that the twist wasn't exactly surprising. Though there being a surprise isn't a requirement when a book is written as well as this was.
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on July 24, 2013
I bought this to read prior to a trip to Devon and Cornwall during which we stayed for a few days at the "real" Jamaica Inn, upon which this classic novel and the movie were based. A wonderful can't-put-it-down story, and the actual Jamaica Inn in Cornwall, of course, milks this book for all it's worth.
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on February 18, 2013
This author has written many books set in Cornwall, the south west corner of England. As with her other successful novels, Jamaica Inn captures the environment at that time of secrets and smuggling as well as evoking the beauty of the Cornish landscape.
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on September 8, 2013
Du Maurier can set a mood, draw you in and take you on a ride. When you read fiction by a brilliant writer you have no idea if the book was written in 1936 or 2013. I want to see the real Jamaica Inn after reading this story.
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on August 31, 2015
Somebody played a great joke on me: they told me it was an excellent horror novel.

For those who may have encountered the same source: this is not a work of horror in any way, shape, or form. Rather, it's a mystery-romance-swashbuckling-kind-of-thing. Mary Yellan's mother has died, and she goes to live with her aunt and her aunt's husband at Jamaica Inn. The inn, as Mary discovers on her way there, enjoys a poor reputation. Her uncle, it soon becomes clear, is the reason why: Mary's aunt is a snivelling mess, and he the tyrant of Jamaica Inn. Soon, Mary learns more about her uncle's actions at Jamaica Inn, and she is drawn into a web of conspiracy that she must escape to save herself and her aunt.

To be clear: the beginning of the book was riveting, and I couldn't stop reading. However, the path eventually changed, and future developments soon became obvious. DuMaurier's writing is good, and certainly entrancing, but the plot was -- unfortunately -- not up my alley, and that detracted from my experience.
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on June 6, 2007
Jamaica Inn is an amazing book which captivates readers with amazing literary merit. Daphne Du Maurier chooses her words carefully, and it is apparent in her writing of Jamaica Inn. Through her descriptions and personification of the English land to the careful sketch of Aunt Patience, her use of language is complete and gives a tone of mystery to the novel. "Sometimes the hills were purple, inkstained, and mottled, and then a feeble ray of sun would come from a wisp of cloud, and one hill would be golden brown while his neighbor still languished in the dark."(26). In this quotation, Du Maurier illustrates the intense, dark, yet forbearing terrain of the moors of England near the dreaded Jamaica Inn. Seeping as it seems, the overtone is dark and mysterious. As with the landscapes, Du Maurier takes careful time drawing up the characters of the book, "This was the old Aunt Patience, with nervous hands and twitching mouth, which glanced over her shoulder as she talked. It was pitiable to see her, and Mary caught something of her agitation" (100). Such attention is paid to the crucial points of character through the simple yet foreboding descriptions. Her tone throughout the book is clear, and sets a stage for the overall plot and ending. A certain amount of mystery is played in every page and keeps the reader enthralled. "But this sudden coming to grace, this quick and exquisite moving of his hands, was a swift and rather sinister revelation, sinister because it was unexpected and not true to type"(17). This message and tone of mystery, deceit keeps the reader on their toes and is magnified in each sentence that flows on each page. Jamaica Inn is a truly captivating novel and is one to read over and over again.
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