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Jamaica Inn

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Mary Yellan promises her mother on her mother's death bed that she will go and stay with her mother's sister, aunt Patience and her uncle at Jamaica Inn. Things go awry the minute she walks in and as events unfold Mary is pulled into a world of smuggling, wrecking and murder. All she has is her wits (which is more than Aunt Patience has by this time) and has no idea who she can trust.

 

This is set in Cornwall - not far from the Poldark Cornwall of Winston Graham (and Warleggan is mentioned!)  - and Jamaica Inn sits halfway between Bodmin and Launceton on the Bodmin Moor. Jamaica Inn actually exists and is still in operation today.  It became a coaching inn in 1750 when coaches started to cross the moor and was actually used for smuggled goods. Daphne Du Maurier stayed there in 1930 when she got lost whilst out horse riding and was moved to write the book.  

 

This book is absolutely marvellous.  Page turning action and excitement and brooding gothic darkness. The descriptions of the landscape are breath taking and the reader can just see what's happening as they read. 

 

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I love this book it's one of my favourite Du Mauriers.  It's a real ripping yarn and I loved the darkness of it and also Jem, the anti hero.  Yep Jamaica Inn is still there although not quite so romantic now that the traffic on the A30 thunders by!  I did go there years ago but it's changed hands since and is probably quite different now.  Warleggan is a real place (as is Demelza!).  Great reading as the nights start to draw in.

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