Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

After reading Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca I wanted to delve more into her works. Jamaica Inn is an eerie tale about murder and deception in Cornwall in 1820. After her mother’s death, Mary Yellan moves in with her mother’s sister,  Patience. Aunt Patience has married Joss Merlyn, who is the proprietor of Jamaica Inn. An inn that doesn’t ever have any guests. Seems odd, right?  Before Mary arrives at the inn, she’s warned that it’s no place for a lady. However, Mary doesn’t have any other family to live with.

Right from the start she doesn’t like her Uncle Joss. He’s a bully with a temper. But is that all, or is he also a murderer and the leader of a group known as the wreckers? This group runs ships aground, then they murder all those on board, and pilfer the booty. Mary Yellan turns to Francis Davey, the vicar of the nearby village of Altarnun. Can Davey help her? To complicate matters, she falls in love with Jem Merlyn, Joss’s brother.

It’s hard not to compare this work with Rebecca. Before I finished Jamaica Inn, I had it in my head that Rebecca was the better of the two. Then I read the second book all the way to the end. I’ll tell you folks, now I’m torn. I wasn’t expecting some of the twists and turns in Jamaica Inn. Both had me wondering what was actually going on and both of them surprised me all the way to the end. So if you ask me today which I prefer I may say Rebecca. Next week, I might say Jamaica Inn. For now I’ll say that I enjoy Daphne du Maurier’s writing and I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

On a side note, I think the real Jamaica Inn still exists today and is now a pub. I must get up there to review this pub. I read this novel for R.I.P., even though I’m a little late posting it.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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32 Responses to Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    I don’t like Jamaica Inn very much. It feels like a pot boiler to me. Frenchman’s Creek is much better, but Rebecca is the best!

  2. jmgoyder says:

    She’s good isn’t she!

  3. bebs1 says:

    Something to check next time I am in the library. Thank you!

  4. Great review and you do have a knack of reminding me of some of the classics I need to return to!

  5. patricia says:

    Spoiler alert:I have loved Jamaica Inn for a long time. I think it has to do with the wreckers, and I have always been fascinated by that part of history.

  6. Caroline says:

    I was never sure whether I liked Rebecca or My Cousin Rachel more but I totally disliked Jamaica Inn.It’s wrd because many say it’s one of her best. Did I read it at the wrong moment? I have no idea. Reading your review I think I should have liked it.

    • TBM says:

      I think I’ve read many novels at the “wrong” time and disliked them just because of what I was experiencing in my life at the moment. I haven’t heard of My Cousin Rachel, but now I’m adding it to my list.

  7. Northern Narratives says:

    I look forward to your pub review and you’ll have to let us know if you see any ghosts.

  8. Carol says:

    My mom had a bunch of DuMaurier’s books that I read when I was in high school. I just wish i could remember them. I’ll have to do some re-reading one of these days.

  9. lynnsbooks says:

    I love this book as well. I always consider Rebecca to be my favourite but I’m a bit like you and jump from one to the other. My Cousin Rachel is also a good read as is Frenchman’s Creek but I think JI and R are my favourites. I have been to Jamaica Inn but it was a long time ago when I was only a young girl. Would be interested to see your review of that.
    Lynn 😀

  10. Vishy says:

    Nice review, TBM! I haven’t read any of du Maurier’s work, but came close two times to reading ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Jamaica Inn’. ‘Jamaica Inn’ was the first work of hers that I discovered. It is unfortunate that I didn’t get around to reading it. Now after reading your review, I am thinking that maybe I should start now.

  11. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Haha I’ve been to Jamaica Inn!

  12. I thought I had read this, but now I’m not sure. Had no idea there’s a real Jamaica Inn! That would be fun to visit for sure.

  13. Fergiemoto says:

    Hope you are able to get to this pub! 🙂

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