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Jamaica Inn Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1995

4.2 out of 5 stars 243 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Review

"A fine romantic tale...Rich in suspense and surprise"--" The New York Times Book Review""One of the most entertaining writers of the century"" Chicago Daily News"
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380725398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380725397
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
JAMAICA INN has been on my "To Be Read" list for many years, so when I found an inexpensive paperback copy, it seemed like fate. Every bit as suspenseful as REBECCA but with a more engaging heroine, it kept me on the edge of my seat almost from the beginning.

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.
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A Kid's Review on November 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My friend suggested that I read this book. I wasn't counting on it being anything special but wanted to read it to please my friend. I read the book...........WOW! I was so transfixed, my mind was constantly buzzing with anxcity for Mary, fear of Joss and wonder for the next page. These are just a few of words that describe Jamaica Inn: thrilling, unpredictable, fantastic, drastic, fast, flowing, tense, obscene, moving, amazing, open, striking, descriptive, startling, action, exciting, horriffic, pursuing, dramatic, different, changing and enticing.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even if it is not as good as Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, or The Scapegoat (but better than the House on the Strand), it is still a page turner, vivid and descriptive and, in the best DuMaurier tradition, very very dark. That said, my rating would actually be closer to 3 1/2 stars.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Myself When Young", author Daphne DuMaurier tells of a riding expedition on Bodmin Moors where lost and tired, she put up at a local hostelry called Jamaica Inn. "It was my first sight of the place that would later grip my imagination . . . a temperance house in 1920, it had been a coaching stop in the old days, and I thought of the travelers in the past who must have sought shelter there on the wild November nights, watched by the local moorland folk. No temperance house then, but a bar where the little parlor was, the drinking deep and long, fights breaking out, the sounds of oaths, of men falling."

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.
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