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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Daphne Maurier - Jamaica Inn

review by Maggie Perkovic live on bookshow 16th May 2013
This is a retro read, but what a corker!!!Written in 1936 and filmed in the 40s I think, it is a very
exciting tale set in Cornwall.
Mary Yellan is a lively young girl who was living in Helford with her mother and father running a small
farm. On their deaths she goes to live with her Aunt and Uncle who run Jamaica Inn a hostelry on the
road between Bodmin and Launceston. She remembers her Aunt as a happy lady with a mass of curly hair and a ready smile for all. When she arrives she finds a terrified and nervous white haired old lady,
who seems terrified of her husband, Joss Merlyn a giant of a man, with a serious drink problem.
The house is in tatters, and no one calls for shelter no matter how bad the weather.
When Mary tries to find the reason this, local villagers tell her it is fear!!
So who or what is going on.
As the story develops we learn that there are secret comings and goings at Jamaica Inn, Mary realises smuggling is big business in the 19 century but it is not until she follows her uncle one night and sees for herself what he and his evil associates are up to, that the full horror strikes her.
Wreckers that lure the ships on to the rocks, and then murder men, women and children that survive,
that is why her uncle cries out in his drunken stupors, and her Aunt is now a shadow of her former self.
Her only friend is the Vicar, himself rather a loner as he is an albino, but he is kind and gentle and
listens to her unhappy tale, and offers a refuge at his Vicarage.
The other character is Jem, brother to Joss, himself a horse thief, but Mary is attracted to him,
and together they form an unlikely partnership.
This is a very well written and exciting story that has you turning pages to find out what happens in the end.
Retro it may be, but brilliant, they just don't write them like this anymore!!Pity!!

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