Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St. Columb to be ripe for any folly, anything to alter the tedium of her days. But there is another Dona who longs for honest love - even if it is spiced with danger. It is this Dona who flies London for remote Navron, finding there a hunted pirate. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I've reread Rebecca countless times and The Birds was one of my best books of 2014 even though I will never look at birds the same way again.
My Impression: Whew this had a slow start. I was probably about 20 pages in before I was interested at all and even then I wouldn't say I was hooked. I had a hard time warming up to Dona who was spoiled and bored and looking for entertainment even (or especially) if it came in the form of a French pirate. I had a hard time connecting with the love story partly because I didn't really like Dona and partly because Dona is married with children and even with the constraints of the time period I just couldn't get past it. Then there's the whole part of Jean being a pirate/criminal which also didn't quite click with me. It was interesting to see Dona take a step away from her aristocratic lady of the manor lifestyle and deal with life on a pirate ship but I always stayed detached from the story. While du Maurier's prose is beautiful to me it felt like it kept me as a distant watcher instead of pulling me in.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes I would but probably more on the strength of Rebecca and The Birds then this one.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Ummm.... I'd recommend the author but probably not this book.
Challenges Met? The Reading Assignment Challenge (May)
I read Great Expectations when I was in 9th grade and hated it. My review would've gone something like this: "Pip complains a lot. He complains when he's poor, he complains when he's rich, he complains when he's poor again. He really just can't be happy." I detested the book. I disliked it so much that when I had to read A Tale of Two Cities a few years later I cheated and went the Cliff Notes route.
When I was making up my Classics Club list last summer I decided it was time to give Great Expectations another try. After all I don't have a huge amount in common with my 14 year old self and my hair is much better so surely my opinion on books wouldn't be the same.
And it isn't but it is. My review isn't all that different of the plot itself. I still don't like Pip and really think he needs a good slap and a change of priorities. I kind of liked him in the beginning and felt sorry for him but once he comes into money I was pretty much done with him. He's just incredibly unlikable and I had a hard time having any interest in how his story developed.
But what I appreciated this time around that I didn't get the first time was the beauty of the writing. Dickens turn of phrase is fantastic and I love how easily and effortlessly he sets a scene. I ended up putting down Great Expectations because I was really close to marching Pip to the Thames and drowning him but this will not be the last Dickens I read.