“Dead men tell no tales, Mary.”
Mary Yellan, a strong headed and brave girl, respects her death mother’s dying wish to go and live with her loving aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn. Things have changed though. Aunt Patience has become a nervous wreck silenced by her abusive husband Joss Merlynn, who also uses the inn for other purposes than one might would expect…
As per usual Daphne’s writing style is mesmerizing and captivating. She knows how to describe scenery without dragging on too long and making you sleepy (Cough, mrs Woolf). However, this doesn’t make up for me not feeling completely connected to the story and it’s characters. We do learn about their youth and how their past experiences probably influence their present day actions, but we don’t get to know a lot about the “10 years” before Mary came. In particular regarding the relationship between Patience and Joss. Some exploration in this area might have given more depth to the story without taking away from it’s mystery aspect.
Another problem I had with this book was the racistic opinions it put forward concerning one of it’s main characters who happens to be albino. At first this intrigued me, never having read a book with an albino character before, however this excitement quickly extinguished when the persons behavior good or bad was described to him being an albino. Now I know lots of classics tend to have a slight racistic tone due to societies views being different in the 20th centrury. And in most cases I’m totally able to not get too fed up. However, this time I just couldn’t. The nasty comments kept frustating me and in the end did take away some of the reading pleasure I had.
To come to a conclusion, I liked this book, but I did not “like like” it. This might be because of the points mentioned above, or it might be because of the book having to beat up against Rebecca, one of Daphne du Maurier’s most famous work, which happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. I would still recommend you to pick up Jamaica Inn though, especially if you love Maurier’s work and want to read more of it.
- Title: Jamaica Inn
- Author: Daphne du Maurier
- Published: 1936
- Pages: 302
- Rating: 3/5
- Get your copy here!