Some of the best reading I’ve done all year: Daphne DuMaurier Reading Week

I am most familiar with Rebecca, but I love My Cousin Rachel for creating an equally menacing woman with a duplicitous spirit. Questioning her selfish intent kept me guessing until the end.

Jamaica Inn was a dirty, nasty place filled with a mean, nasty man. I did not like him, nor reading of his thieving ways, but I liked how his niece was rescued by the one she loved. Not, by the way, the Vicar as one might have suspected.

And Frenchman’s Creek, which I have finished just now, has perhaps the best ending of all. After the adventure, and the trysts, and all the romance of loving a pirate, Dona must return to her husband and children. There is no other choice for a mother, after all.

None of the novels have contrived, easily manipulated conclusions like today’s authors are so adept at creating. They have neither the skill, nor the imagination, of Daphne DuMaurier. My month would have been strangely empty had I not indulged in three of her books at Heaven Ali‘s prompting. And for that I thank her.

18 thoughts on “Some of the best reading I’ve done all year: Daphne DuMaurier Reading Week”

    1. Ah, yes, Don’t Look Now was a fantastic novella. I read it for a Venice in February event I once co-hosted with a blogging friend of mine. It was most mysterious, and disturbing. But, nothing was as upsetting as the first story in her collection, The Doll, which I had to give away. That story is probably the only one of her works I’ve read that I really can’t abide. It crossed over the line for me, into the unspeakable.

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  1. So glad you enjoyed your Daphne Du Maurier reading so much. Thank you for reminding me about Frenchman’s Creek, which it’s many years since I read.

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    1. I can’t remember ever reading Frenchman’s Creek before, but I was entranced. I think that Daphne does plot and atmosphere exceedingly well, but even better are her conclusions. Each one is so satisfying to me!

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    1. Did you read The Doll? That is one that I could not bear, but I will have to venture forth into other short stories of hers. I’m not very familiar with them, but I’m glad to hear you liked them.

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    1. Each one was stupendous in its own way, and while they were set in Cornwall, they were not terribly similar. As for my brevity, that comes from feeling I don’t have much wisdom to impart, just my reactions, and I like to leave a brief impression rather than a full disclosure. (However, I did spoil the surprise in Frenchman’s Creek, which is something I don’t like to do.) Look! My comment is longer than my post!😉

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  2. I’ve only read Rebecca and Don’t Look Now, but have The House on the Strand waiting in my stacks. What fun to focus on a single author for one month. It sounds like you enjoyed yourself!

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    1. Rebecca has long been a favorite of mine. And Don’t Look Now was so creepy! I am returning The House on The Strand as I must read Charles Krauthammer’s book, Things That Matter, for book club in two weeks. But, a time travel novel such as that appears to be is always a good idea. I have loved Daphne’s stories, and as you said, it was fun to focus on an author for an extended period of time. xo

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  3. I’ve not yet read anything by Daphne DuMaurier, but I do have “Rebecca” sitting on my shelves. I’ve been meaning to get to it, but other books have somehow cut the queue. Your post has got me really interested. Maybe I should read it next.

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    1. I have always been crazy about Rebecca, maybe you will like it, too. The suspense kept building, and the surprises kept coming, right up to the end.

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  4. I have not read any work by Daphne DuMaurier, but am intrigued now, because of this post.
    Reading does something almost indescribable to us, but you manage to describe it beautifully here. It adds a special value to our lives.

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  5. Thank you for this post of inspiration for Daphne du Maurier. I have just decided that I want to read most of her books. I don’t even know if I actually read Rebecca, of if I just watched it. I watch Jamaica Inn recently and might not read it, although I think I read it many years ago. I enjoyed her book/biography The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë. I will start with My Cousin Rachel, since I just downloaded it on audio book. Loved Frenchman’s Creek. It is just my cup of romantic fiction!
    I read a wonderful biography of Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster, some years ago now.

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    1. How wonderful that you are feeling so enthusiastic for Daphne, too! I have just loved these three, and you are so right: Frenchman’s Creek was just right for incurable romantics! DuMaurier could show Disney a thing or two about what romance truly is, when all those princesses pretend to depict it perfectly. Even the ending, especially the ending, was so satisfying. It was the only way it could possibly end that would be beneficial to all, although heartbreaking at the same time.

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