Alan Marchant's Reviews > Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
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's review
May 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: gothic, fiction
Read in August, 2009

The Dangerous Book for Girls

Jamaica Inn is a coming-of-age story with a 19th century Gothic setting in the highlands above Cornwall. Upon the death of her mother, Mary Yellan leaves the farm to live with her aunt in the isolated old Jamaica Inn. Her baggage consists of a complete ignorance of men and the naive belief that she is suited to a life of manly labor.

The book starts slowly, with an emphasis on atmospherics. But the pace picks up steadily as Mary encounters a succession of men - landlord, pedlar, vicar, constable, and vagabond. Each of the men represents a different class of male mojo and each embodies one of the facts of life that had been suppressed in Mary's upbringing.

Du Maurier effectively imitates the style of Emily Bronte but with none of the romanticism that permeates Wuthering Heights.

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