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Jamaica Inn Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Mary Yellan's mother dies, leaving her alone with a farm and no one to help her run it. (Apparently, in 19th century England, it was unthinkable that a 23-year-old woman should simply hire some help and keep the farm.) She sells up and goes to live in a distant county with an aunt she hasn't seen for ten years, but whom she remembers as pretty and vivacious. The aunt Patience she finds, however, is much changed. Now married to an abusive, drunken tyrant, Patience has relinquished her former self and become a cringing, wheedling shadow to her brutal husband. The couple reside at Jamaica Inn, an infamous establishment that respectable travelers have long abandoned.
The situation deteriorates further when inquisitive Mary discovers her uncle is involved in illegal dealings that include murder. Horrified, she stays at Jamaica Inn only for the sake of her aunt, whom she intends to rescue. She's befriended by the sympathetic vicar of a neighboring parish, and by her uncle's handsome brother, Jem, to whom she feels oddly drawn, despite his questionable livelihood as a horse thief.
In true Gothic style, the story hovers on the edges of believability. It doesn't pay to think too much on any one point. Mary displays the obligatory intelligence, pluck and curiosity of the gothic heroine, yet loses her courage and/or her smarts at just the points where her hesitation advances the plot. The villains of the story are pure evil without clear motivations. Jem is the most realistically drawn character.Read more ›
In Jamaca Inn you can live with the characters, you are part of the book, and you feel for the characters. The book changes mood so easily. A must read.
Mary Yellan is an appealingly scrappy heroine, if somewhat prone to foolhardy actions. I liked that she had guts and that she could be honest about her feelings about a man she had no business loving. Another plus for this book: I bought her falling in love with the roguish horse thief Jem Merlyn. I myself found him sexy (wish there had been more of him in the book). Their chemistry was a nice reflection of the less benign pairing of Mary's poor Aunt Patience and the brutish Joss Merlyn. Perhaps my favorite line because it spoke volumes in few words is "Now Mary understood why she hated her uncle." Or something to that effect.
DuMaurier goes a little overboard in the description of the moor and the tors, although I admit it is necessary to establish the setting. A big reason I do love DuMaurier books is the strong sense of place and time. I suppose that this particular setting was not as interesting as - say - the estate in Rebecca. I knew so because my eye would dart down the page and the next for quotation marks in the hopes that a conversation would break up the lengthy descriptions.
In short one could do a lot worse than this book in the general realm of fiction but as far as DuMaurier fiction is concerned, one could do somewhat better.
And grip her imagination it did!
Du Maurier brings to life all the sounds and sights she imagined she saw on that day at a wayside inn with so much history. The lonely local, the brooding weather, the harsh tors looming over the moors and the bog, all make for what is now the almost trite accoutrements to any Gothic melodrama. But in Du Maurier's expert hands and imagination, the story that evolves could never be thought hackneyed.
Mary Yellen, a staunch working class young lady must leave her beloved farm on southern coast of Cornwall for the bleaker northern side. Here she will live at lonely Jamaica Inn with her mother's sister Patience and her innkeeper husband, Joss Merlyn. When she arrives, Mary, who prides herself on her good sense, intrinsic goodness and her willingness to work, finds her situation at the inn in dire opposition to anything in which she believes. Her heart breaks when she discovers her aunt has become a shadow of her once frivilous self, broken by the drunken Josh and his rude occupation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the English prose of classic literature. Environments are wonderfully descriptive that set a dreary, unsettling mood. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Esmund Kerr
whoever hasn't read this should. It is the best book I have ever read and I read alotPublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
I loved REBECCA, and hoped for something as deep and interesting and unexpected. Not so, but still an entertaining read.Published 17 days ago by Rivkeleh
Although it was well written I did not enjoy this book it was too graphic and mean and the subject matter was very black and hopeless. Even the heroine was not very redeeming.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
In the tradition of du Maurier, very tense and foreboding. I'd have expected nothing less. I find it interesting that she actually stayed at the real Jamaica Inn, and would've... Read morePublished 1 month ago by txnursie
After reading Daphne DuMaurier's later novels and short stories, I found Jamaica Inn a bit too long-winded. Read morePublished 1 month ago by brontefan
Have read this book so many time and each time is like the first. Love Daphne due maurier.Published 1 month ago by Frances Mc Cready