So this month saw me pick up another du Maurier novel. I’ve had a couple of months off from reading du Maurier but I felt the urge to be back in Cornwall and she is, obviously, the Queen of Cornish Literature. And also, this book contains pirates. That did pretty much sell it to me.
The story follows Dona, a London socialite who is fed up of her lifestyle in the City and moves down to Cornwall – away from her husband – to start afresh. Soon after her arrival in this sleepy Cornish coastal village, she learns that it is plagued by pirates – one Frenchman in particular. Naturally, this appeals at first to her sense of adventure. Their paths do of course cross and what goes on from there you can only imagine.
This was a slow start. I honestly thought I was going to have to admit defeat and call it a day with this very early on because I just wasn’t feeling it. I only persevered because, well, it’s du Maurier and I will always try with her novels because even if the plot lacks, the prose is beautiful and sometimes that makes up for it. For me, this picked up at around the 50 page mark, though it wasn’t un-put-down-able it was perfectly readable and I did enjoy it for the most part from there on out. I snuggled up and read the majority of what was remaining in only a couple of sittings.
Daphne du Maurier is a literary genius. I say it every time. How she captures atmosphere and how she just makes me lose myself in a book is incredible. Those questions in which you’re asked “who would you have at a dinner table?” I would pick her in a heartbeat.
“And all this, she thought, is only momentary, is only a fragment in time that will never come again, for yesterday already belongs to the past and is ours no longer, and tomorrow is an unknown thing that may be hostile. This is our day, our moment, the sun belongs to us, and the wind, and the sea, and the men for’ard there singing on the deck. This day is forever a day to be held and cherished, because in it we shall have lived, and loved, and nothing else matters but that in this world of our own making to which we have escaped.”
Once again, it’s a 4/5 for du Maurier. This book, while a bit of a struggle for me to get on with, was wonderful.