Skip to main content

Review: Frenchman's Creek, by Daphne Du Maurier

Frenchman’s Creek is an adventure story. Set in the 17th century, the story revolves around Dona St. Columb, a aristocratic woman who rebels against society’s constraints. She escapes to the family’s long-abandoned estate in Cornwall, where a band of pirates have beset her neighbors. Soon Dona falls in with the pirates’ leader, the elusive Frenchman of the title. Their romance is facilitated by one of Dona’s servants, William.

Frenchman’s Creek is perhaps the fifth or sixth Daphne Du Maurier novel I’ve read. It’s not her best, but it’s pretty good nonetheless. This novel works well as an adventure story and historical fiction, but some parts of the plot were hard for me to believe. For example, I found it hard to believe that Dona’s husband, Harry, could have been as clueless about his wife’s activities, even when they were going on right under his nose. I also found it hard to understand why the neighbors didn’t notice anything amiss, either! I also felt that it was hard to get a real take on the Frenchman’s character. The romance was a bit stilted too. You sort of have to suspend your sense of disbelief while reading this book. In the end, though, this was an intriguing, fast-paged story about a woman forced to make choices.

Also reviewed by: Ex Libris, Once Upon a Bookshelf, Medieval Bookworm, Kay's Bookshelf, The Literate Housewife Review, Peeking Between the Pages, The Tome Traveller's Weblog, Devourer of Books, Passages to the Past


Amanda said…
Have you seen the movie version? I think it came out in 1999. It helps make the story a bit more believable but yeah, while good, you have to suspend your sense of disbelief and just go with it :)
Marg said…
I've owned this book for years but never quite managed to read it. I must see if I can find it.
Jenny said…
I just recently finished Jamaica Inn, and I had some of the same problems with it. For a good old-fashioned Gothic romance, though, it was above average for sure.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…