Review: The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier

book-review

The King’s General by Daphne Du Maurier 4/5

6tag_130617-191352Honor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless – and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly.

 

Review:

Honor Harris looks back on her life from her teens, through the English Civil War, and after. Through her truthful recount of the man who stole her heart, Richard Grenvile, and her life in a wheelchair, she tells a tale of love, mystery, war, and misery.

Du Maurier never fails to create an atmospheric experience for the reader.  I was transported to Cornwall in the 1600’s, and through the eyes of Honor, I had a raw, real recount of the English Civil War.

Once again, the characters are brilliantly constructed. Their lives link beautifully with each other’s, and their personalities are expertly woven in the words. My reason for not rating this 5* is because of my dislike for Richard. Despite his affection toward Honor, I couldn’t find anything to like about the man. He remained true to character, but I like to have a least a small nugget of something worth rooting for. He was rude, arrogant, and had a huge sense of superiority. At least Honor was aware of his flaws and never tried to excuse them.

Another reason for my missing star is that at times the narrative was bogged down with the war and strategies etc. Yes, that was the main narrative running through the book, and yes, the title is The King’s General, but there were chapters that I skimmed because it was mere recount, and not vital to Honor’s story.

In summary, a solid read from Du Maurier with brilliantly written characters, engaging world building, and a glimpse into life for the Cornish during the English Civil War. If you don’t mind an obnoxious character or two, this is the read for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

book-review

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier 5/5

16443577_1422744914443588_878056584_n.jpgJaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape.

But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall’s shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. 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.

Review:

Lady Dona St Columb is a bored wife in a stagnant marriage. She wants freedom, adventure, and escape. That is easier said than done when you have to maintain title, motherhood, and keep your husband sweet. Moving to the countryside with her children, but leaving her husband in the city, is the start of her escape. Then, stumbling upon French pirate, Jean Aubrey, she embarks on a big, dangerous adventure that Dona can’t shy away from. The bird in her wants to fly free. What price will she pay for that freedom?

Another Du Maurier masterpiece; beautifully staged narrative, characters that leave you spell bound, and always a healthy dose of the macabre and danger. Du Maurier’s stories never fail to enthrall me. I read her books in as little as two days, and just get swept away in the story. I find myself thinking over the story when I’m not reading, and more so after I turn the final page.

Her passion for Cornwall only ensnares me more, and the vivid descriptions throw you head first into the setting; settings that I visit regularly, and will look at in a new light. Dona is brilliantly written- fanciful, lost, bored. She bleeds into the narrative effortlessly. You may not always like her or agree with how she chooses to live her life, but that’s part of the joy of reading from her perspective. Her relationship with Jean has the perfect pace, passion, and danger. Who doesn’t want a handsome pirate to fall for them and offer adventure? It’s all fun and games until it’s not, right?

Frenchman’s Creek is a must read! What are you waiting for?


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

book-review

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier 5/5

15878976_1393063644078382_1049832502_nHer mother’s dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman’s warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn.

Affected by the Inn’s brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust…

Review:
   Mary Yellan promises her mother upon her death bed that she will go to live with her only remaining family member, her aunt. Little does Mary know that her aunt is married to a drunkard criminal who owns the Jamaica Inn; a place known for its shady characters and criminal activity. Mary is determined to get her Aunt away from Joss Merlyn, and thwart his illegal acitivites in the process. She doesn’t bargain on befriending the local vicar, or falling for a man she would never have looked twice at before. Not all is as it seems, and who is involved in Joss’ ventures?
   Ever since reading Rebecca, I have been keen to read another Du Maurier book, but I never quite managed to work through my TBR pile. I picked up Jamaica Inn in my library and bumped it to the top of my list to avoid late fines (ha). I’m so glad I did. Once again, Du Maurier weaves an intriguing, descriptive tale that utterly enthralled me. Not only that, Jamaica Inn is set in my home county of Cornwall, so there was an element of sentimentality about this read, especially as my home town of Helston is mentioned numerous times. Du Maurier captures the stark landscape of the Bodmin moors, and creates the perfect setting for this dark and macabre tale.
   What is there not to like? Absolutely nothing. Mystery, romance, strong-minded female lead, potential bad boy love interest, and plot twists. The book drew me in and wouldn’t let me go. The masterfully written plot twists are staged throughout the narrative ready for the big finale, and I was pleasantly surprised with Mary Yellan’s choice at the very end of the book. The uncertainty, but the truth in it felt more believable than the alternative she had planned for herself.
   If you want a dark, twisted, macabre tale that ensnares from the start, then get your hands on Jamaica Inn. You won’t be disappointed.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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