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Book Obsession

Daphne Du Maurier Thus Far

Cornwall Explored
by Clive Black

Coastline, rocky, rugged, proud,
Crumbling cliffs in ozone shroud,
Sun-kissed drifts of desert sand,
Golden frame of a sea cradled land.

Fishing village, atmospheric hub,
Brass band playing, outside quaint old pub,
Boats, all sizes, rest near harbour wall,
Wading birds sift through tide-filled pool.

Foliage explosion of a Cornish hedge,
Country lanes snake, and young birds fledge,
Ruminants, punctuating, quilted hill,
Buzzards soar and wise hares are still.

Tin mine engine house, towering stack,
Roof caved in, gorse and bracken’s back,
White clay peak, geometrical and sleek,
Earth’s riches gouged, canyon deep.

Moor-land, open, untamed, granite strewn,
Wild ponies dance to a skylark’s tune,
Tor and beacon, barrow and mound,
You’re in God’s own country, when you walk this ground.

 

Cornwall, England, a place I did not get to in my travels there. It is the one place I dream of all the time and stalk pictures of online. Cornwall is the place I obsessively read books based in locations dotted around those gorgeous coastlines. If I had my druthers, I’d live out my days in Cornwall.

Daphne du Maurier was blessed to hail from Cornwall. It was the muse (and location) for her thrilling stories and adventures. In reading of her adventures, pushing a stroller around the cliff lands and an old, abandoned estate with her two kids, I was ready to read her tales. The abandoned estate, by the way, was her inspiration for Rebecca. She even wrote the owner and begged to move into the place. Daphne was a woman who knew what she wanted—she was inspirational in that and a bit ahead of her time.

Rebecca

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .”  ― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

“The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.” -Goodreads.com

Rebecca is a haunting, thrilling, page-turning book. What a truly gifted writer, du Maurier is! I was entangled in this book from the start. I also enjoyed the afterward and reading her tale of the writing of the story as a young 30-year-old mother. What in the world am I waiting for? I’m a “youngish” mother that needs to write books! Thank you, Daphne, for inspiring me. Thank you for bringing me to an estate in Cornwall, England in the 1920’s to be a part of the de Winter’s story. Thanks for the book hangover.

 

My Cousin Rachel

“She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment.”  ― Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel

“Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose’s letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin’s widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet… might she have had a hand in Ambrose’s death?” -Goodreads.com

My second DDM book and I’m enthralled with her writing. She bids you on a journey from which you cannot forsake. You must continue on, slowly, steadily, madly. And when you reach the end….it really never is the end. The story lives on.

 

Frenchman’s Creek

“People who travel are always fugitives.” ― Daphne du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek

“Bored and restless in London’s Restoration Court, Lady Dona escapes into the British countryside with her restlessness and thirst for adventure as her only guides.

Eventually Dona lands in remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds the passion her spirit craves in the love of a daring French pirate who is being hunted by all of Cornwall.

Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.”

This one was my absolute favorite thus far, and that’s saying something!

Wow. An escapist, thrilling, swashbuckling adventure! I, personally, am very happy with the end. Even though I was torn, I feel she did the honourable thing. (Won’t say more or I’ll spoil it for you!)
(*This is not a book for children. As per du Maurier, it contains some sensuality and there’s some moral confusion.)

 

Jamaica Inn

“Dead men tell no tales, Mary.” ― Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn

“The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.”

Du Maurier has not let me down yet. What a spine-tingling, thrilling adventure! She created some despicable, evil characters in this story. Poor Mary. But don’t feel too sorry for Mary, she is a woman with a strong mind and a goal that helps her rise above it all—to save her aunt from this vile inn and those who stalk its grounds by night and sometimes by day.

 

 

My next read arrived yesterday. It’s the thickest book I’ve picked up from her yet….

 

 

Shiloah Baker

My greatest dreams are to have a housekeeper; unlimited reading time; to travel wherever and whenever I want; to live in England, Italy and Hawaii; to go to Oxford University in the UK; to have all 11 children go on missions and to college; and to die peacefully in my sleep as an old, healthy woman. ♥

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