Jamaica Inn is a true classic. After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan travels to Jamaica Inn on the wild British moors to live with her Aunt Patience. The coachman warns her of the strange happenings there, but Mary is committed to remain at Jamaica Inn. Suddenly, her life is in the hands of strangers: her uncle, Joss Merlyn, whose crude ways repel her; Aunt Patience, who seems mentally unstable and perpetually frightened; and the enigmatic Francis Davey. But most importantly, Mary meets Jem Merlyn, Joss's younger brother, whose kisses make her heart race. Caught up in the danger at this inn of evil repute, Mary must survive murder, mystery, storms, and smugglers before she can build a life with Jem.
An enjoyable read, September 3, 2003 Reviewer: William Tegner from Brisbane Australia This is only the second Daphne du Maurier book I've read (the first was 'The Scapegoat'), and I enjoyed it. The story line is good, as are the descriptions of the Cornish countryside. Indeed, the author seems to have a real feel for Cornwall, even though she was born and brought up in London. Not for her the sugary rustic platitudes of other English "country" writers. And bear in mind, too, that she was only in her twenties when she wrote this: quite an achievement. Inevitably the book is somewhat old-fashioned in its style. The prose is inclined to be a bit wordy. But the characters of the Merlyn brothers and the Vicar are well drawn. A slight disappointment, however, is Mary Yellan herself. I found it a little difficult to engage with her, and a rather characterless, even priggish young woman comes across.