Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review: Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier

genre: fiction
rating: 4/5

Lady Dona St. Columb is so unhappy with society life in London, that she just leaves it. She packs up her kids, their nurse (of course) and removes to the countryside. There she hopes to find some peace and a period of solace from the frippery and falseness that is being the wife of the inebriated and daft Lord. St. Columb.

Life along the river is blissful and the bounty of nature itself seems to fill her with more of a sense of purpose, a love of what is real and unspoilt. And when news of a French pirate reaches her, curiosity leads to a confrontation that takes Lady Dona on an adventure that will change her view of life, and of herself, forever.

At first, Dona bothered me. Her selfishness seemed to be her main characteristic. But the more I read, the more I related to her hatred for pretending to be someone she's not, for having to spend her life being on show instead of being able to live on her own terms. And while I could never really agree morally with her choices, I had so much sympathy for her reactions and I stopped questioning her motives. She's not a heroine, by any means, but she did feel real and fleshed out.

Her interactions with the Frenchman, her pirate, are so beautifully written, so romantic. And our French pirate - he's one of the more passionate and believable characters I've maybe ever read. I could imagine him and his expressions so perfectly in my head. du Maurier has a gift for writing simple and yet vivid descriptions and her dialogue is witty and unassuming. Even though this story is, when I think of it, so very unbelievable, she somehow got me to believe it. It's romantic and scandalous and adventurous. The most pleasant journey I've ever taken with a pirate.

9 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Wow! As I was reading what you wrote about the pirate, I was picturing Johnny Depp in my head. Great review.

Tricia said...

I'm loving rediscovering Daphne du Maurier this year. Sounds like another of hers to add to my growing pile. :)

Laura said...

I really enjoyed Rebecca, so I'd like to pick up another du Maurier book. We just had a discussion today at work about pirates! :)

Trish said...

I hadn't heard of du Maurier until fairly recently, but now I see her everywhere. Although I haven't heard of this one--just Rebecca. Her writing style sounds like a style I would like a lot--vivid and witty.

Beth F said...

I haven't read this one yet -- great review. I love her other works, so I really should read this one too.

Jenni said...

Oooh du Maurier and pirates!! Nice. I loved Rebecca. I'm going to have to read this!

Anna said...

I haven't read anything by du Maurier, though Rebecca is on my shelf. This one sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Marg said...

This is the second good review I have seen of this book in the last few days! I really must start rediscovering Heyer myself!

lilly said...

Im glad you liked the book, I also enjoyed it. Dona did come off as a little selfish at times but I think as the book ends she made the right choice. That's definitely something up for discussion though, whether she was right or not.

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