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.
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!
Now I need to locate Frenchman’s Creek.
She’s good isn’t she!
Yes she is!
Love this book
It was a creepy novel, but still fun to read.
Something to check next time I am in the library. Thank you!
If you haven’t read Rebecca, you may want to start with that one.
Great review and you do have a knack of reminding me of some of the classics I need to return to!
Happy reading! If you can find the time–you’ve got your hands full.
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.
I actually don’t know much about the wreckers and found that bit disturbing and fascinating.
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.
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.
I look forward to your pub review and you’ll have to let us know if you see any ghosts.
Oh, ghosts would be a plus–but I may be too terrified to remember much.
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.
It’s amazing how many books I can only faintly remember.
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.
I hope to make it to the real Jamaica Inn!
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.
I really like her writing style. Her story starts off slow and then she whacks you in the face with such a force you almost can’t breath until you find out what happened. I read the end of this one in a frenzy.
Thanks for that description, TBM. Now I want to read it immediately 🙂
I hope you enjoy it Vishy.
Haha I’ve been to Jamaica Inn!
Really! Do you have pictures on your blog?
No sorry it was a few years ago!
Oh well. Now I need to go myself. there is so much to see in the UK!
Must reread this one.
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.
I’ll have to look into a visit since it may add even more to my reading experience.
Hope you are able to get to this pub! 🙂