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Bored and restless in London's Restoration Court Lady Dona escapes into the British countryside with her restlessness and thirst for adventure as her only guidesEventually Dona lands in remote Navron looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks She finds the passion her spirit craves in the love of a daring French pirate who is being hunted by all of CornwallTogether they embark upon a uest 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


10 thoughts on “Frenchman's Creek

  1. says:

    Do you remember my father’s aviary in Hampshire and how the birds there were well fed and could fly about their cage? And one day I set a linnet free and it flew straight out of my hands towards the sun? Because I feel like that Like the linnet before it flewIf you’ve ever felt confined if you’ve ever felt like just throwing all caution to the wind and escaping then you can empathize with Dona St Columb the heroine of this delightful adventure Now I know what you are thinking because I had the same exact thought what’s up with a pirate story from the brilliant creator of Rebecca? Well I would say first and foremost that you can’t compare this to Rebecca as they can’t all be masterpieces However it is worthy of its own uniue praise It’s lighthearted yes but I don’t think everything has to be so somber all the time In fact this book may be a high spirited read but certainly it still causes one to pause and reflect Dona is married to a titled landowner in 17th century England She is a mother and adores her children Given the time and place however Dona is bound by societal restrictions and the expectations placed on the women of her time Dona does not adapt well to these boundaries however and decides to escape London and relocate with her children and nurse to her husband’s home on the Cornwall coast Her husband Harry is left behind to continue with his diversions in the city Harry doesn’t really ‘get it’ He’s a bit clueless but not a brute so we can tolerate him in reality it was escape she wanted escape from her own self from the life they led together; that she had reached a crisis in her particular span of time and existence and must travel through that crisis alone Upon reaching the coast Dona soon hears the whispers of the rumor of piracy And so her adventure begins as does ours In true du Maurier fashion the landscape is spectacularly drawn and the Helford River and Frenchman’s Creek become almost entities of their own You can hear the wind and the crashing waves the cry of the birds; and you can envision the bluebells and the mysterious painted ship Dona must struggle with her new found freedom her understanding of love and reconcile these feelings with her sense of responsibility and love for her children Not an easy battle for a woman and a mother’s conscience today much less in the 1600’s I couldn’t imagine how this would end and you of course will need to read the book to find out All I can say is that du Maurier always manages to execute her endings perfectly Read this for the witty banter between Dona and her manservant William whom I adored for the intriguing character that is the Frenchman for the comical gentry that Dona finds so stodgy and for the thrill of the high seas But most of all you should read this for the beautiful prose and the nostalgic feel of times gone by I loved it for the sheer entertainment and joy I felt while reading this It may not be transformative but it is captivating and enchanting Contentment is a state of mind and body when the two work in harmony and there is no friction The mind is at peace and the body also The two are sufficient to themselves Happiness is elusive – coming perhaps once in a life time – approaching ecstasy


  2. says:

    Loved this bookIt had piratesIt had FrenchmenIt had a love storyIt had intrigueIt had scandalIt had clean languageIt had beautiful writingIt's a great read


  3. says:

    Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is a 2003 publication This novel was originally published in 1941 Adventurous and uniue side of Daphne du Maurier Bored in her marriage Dona heads to her husband Harry’s estate in Cornwall for some time to herself Right away she becomes embroiled in the adventure of the pirate 'Jean Benoit Aubéry' She dares to let her true nature emerge wearing men’s clothes and joining in the intrigue and a little romance However her fun is often foiled by Rockingham a friend of her husband who is determined to capture the pirates while harboring designs on Dona of his own Meanwhile Harry arrives to help Rockingham which inspired Dona to intervene on behalf of her pirate but it’s complicated Wow This is yet another fantastic story by Daphne du Maurier While the setting is in Cornwall the oft chosen location for moody Gothic tales this book has an entirely different tone At once an adventure a romance a literary endeavor this book embodies a hint of styles and genres to come Dona has come to Cornwall for some serious soul searching but she got the adventure of a lifetime for a woman of the aristocracy in the 18th century Although she takes some enormous risks throws caution to the wind and finds just what she needs to uicken her monotonous life she also must consider the cost It’s hard not to like Dona She’s spirited bold and rebellious thirsting for from life but trapped in a dull marriage and bored with the aristocratic life she is bound to Before all is said and done she lives through some tense and suspenseful adventures which on the surface is like reading a swashbuckling pirate tale replete with romance and intrigue The pirate in uestion is a bit of a romantic for a man of his occupation and is just the type of ‘bad boy’ Dona might go for considering her feelings for her husband In some ways it sounds like this is a torrid historical romance but I assure you this is of a literary novel written in a beautiful lush prose While the story is lightest du Maurier book I’ve read and was actually a fun sort of scandalous novel there is a moral reckoning if you will and Dona’s character ends up going through some startling changes coming out on the other side a very different person from the one we were first introduced to and has its fair share of serious tones and profound insights especially the allegorical messages which speak to how women often feel confined by certain strictures but who long to be as free as men but who must often make the hard choices and sacrifices that rob them of that pleasure ‘are you happy?I am contentWhat is the difference?Between happiness and contentment? Ah there you have me It is not easy to put into words Contentment is a state of mind and body when the two work in harmony and there is no friction The mind is at peace and the body also The two are sufficient to themselves Happiness is elusive coming perhaps once in a life time and approaching ecstasyNot a continuous thing like contentment?No not a continuous thing But there are after all degrees of happiness”The ending is a bittersweet surprise but still very fitting I thoroughly enjoyed this novel so I’d like to send a special shout out to GR friend Candi who recommended this one to me 4 stars


  4. says:

    A romantic swashbuckling type of tale from the talented Daphne du Maurier that unfortunately fell flat for me Lady Dona St Columb is a noblewoman in 17th century England discontented with her husband family the British court and pretty much everything in her life She takes out her frustrations on everyone around her and then flounces off to her husband's estate in Cornwall to rusticate and make the people around her miserable there instead There are stories of a pirate who's been raiding the Cornish countryside and Dona could be in trouble when she stumbles across the pirate ship's hiding place in a cove right on her estate But it's romance not danger that mostly ensues in this rather dreamily written novel in fairness the excitement and adventure ramp up later in the novel before we get to a rather odd endingDu Maurier writes well but this book was just not for me My problems with it are mostly tied to my own personal reading likes and dislikes rather than an objective assessment of the book's ualities In other words your mileage may vary The main character Dona is a spoiled selfish headstrong woman dismissive of her spouse and children The first scene she's in shows her being unreasonable and rude to her servants As I got deeper into the book I liked her a little better or perhaps it would be accurate to say that I disliked her a little less as I came to understand her frustrations but she's not the type of woman I identify with or want to get to know better either in real life or in a book Dislikable protagonists are a tough one for me to swallowI also have a really deep aversion to cheating on your spouse which includes reading romances where one of the main characters is cheating and I'm not big on justifications he's a louse she doesn't understand me etc Dona married a guy who's a drinker and apparently as dumb as a box of rocks but he loves her wants to make something better of their marriage and is willing to try to change and she won't give him the time of day Instead she takes up with The pirate who is handsome well read and independently wealthy but justifies his piracy because he's a Robin Hood stealing from the unworthy rich and giving to the poor Huh I'm pretty good at suspending disbelief but this was all just a little too unrealistic to buy into He admits that he just needs adventure to bring meaning to his humdrum life I can respect that but hey go explore Africa or something rather than becoming a criminalIn general this reads to me like an unhappily married woman's fantasy of how she'd like to ditch her boring and unfulfilling husband and existence and go off on romantic adventures From what I've read of Daphne du Maurier's life I think that's likely the case I just couldn't respect the characters or their choices


  5. says:

    Suddenly the sails caught the breeze and filled they bellied out in the wind lovely and white and free the gulls rose in a mass screaming above the masts the setting sun caught the   painted ship in a gleam of gold and silently stealthily leaving a long dark ripple behind her the ship stole in towards the land  And a feeling came upon Dona as though a hand touched her heart and a voice whispered in her brain “I shall remember this”  A premonition of wonder of fear of sudden strange elation  She turned swiftly smiling to herself for no reason humming a little tune and strode back across the hills to Navron House skirting the mud and jumping the ditches like a child while the sky darkened and the moon rose and the night wind whispered in the tall treesThis is the story of a woman Lady Dona St Columb grown jaded by a life of privilege in restoration period London who leaves her husband’s side and flees with her children and their governess to the countryside and their rarely visited home Navron House on the coast of Cornwall  And it is there that she first hears the tales of piracy and catches sight of “La Mouette” as she looks out to sea from the cliffs where the river runs away to the left wide and shining as it meets the sea  And it is here that she first meets the Frenchman and embracing danger escapes the tedium of her London life  with a daring romantic adventure on the high seas  Anyone at all familiar with Du Maurier’s style is well aware of how masterfully she can paint a scene at once  so vivid as to transport the reader to those same cliffs where Dona stands and down below far and deep the little waves splash upon the rocksReading this one cannot help but think that one day Du Maurier decided to take her considerable writing skills out for a walk urging them forward bidding them stretch their legs and once they had reached their stride and adopted a working rhythm she let them loose to wander and sniff out their own path   I love where they wentIn fact this is the second time I have accompanied Du Maurier on this audacious romantic escape to the coast of Cornwall and her ship of dreams  I really have no business reading this right now as I am still besieged with other commitments but sometimes the reader’s heart wants what the reader’s heart wants and nothing else will sate that need  Lately I have been reading a fair number of reviews of Du Maurier’s work here on goodreads most notably Candi’s review of this same story   which has resulted in two things; one of which is this reread as well as the addition of Jamaica Inn to my Kindle ueue  Come on sail awayFive pure escape worthy stars


  6. says:

    4 Stars Daphne du Maurier brings her true love of boating and the sea to life in this most enjoyable 17th century atmospheric tale of swashbuckling funThe excitement begins soon after Lady Dona leaves London societyand her foolish baronet husbandfor their country home and a much needed respite away from everyday boredom and a loveless marriageWith two children and nanny in tow Dona is finally free to avail herself of sun and solace with long walks in the woods and thoughts of a younger self in a time long past when an unexpected encounterwith a notorious and most appealing pirategive her life new meaningFRENCHMAN'S CREEK is an intriguing adventure story with dangerous escapades and just the right touch of emotion and romance amidst great charactersand no it's not My Cousin Rachel or Rebecca but it's still a damn entertaining read


  7. says:

    Frenchman's Creek is the third book I read of Daphne du Maurier following My Cousin Rachel and Rebecca And naturally I expected a mystery But I was really surprised to find that Frenchman's Creek is an adventure story Du Maurier presents us with a female protagonist as unlike any other so far I have come across her books Dona St Columb is a wild and reckless woman whose spirit seeks action and adventure Her mundane aristocratic life which is wasted in idle occupation does not suit her well She seeks to escape and arrive at her family estate in Helston and there meets Jean Benoit Aubery a French pirate He uenches her thirst for adventure and in the process she learns what is mean truly to be in love Frenchman's Creek is an adventure story as well as a beautiful love story Dona St Columb is not a likable character in the beginning But soon this Dona takes a different shape of a woman The new found freedom from the senseless life she was so far lived brings out her true self In the French pirate she meets she finds a soul mate who euals her thirst for adventure; with him she finds love happiness and true contentment in life and learns what is important in life I really liked the character development of Dona St Columb With her Du Maurier has created a loving female protagonist; and certainly the best I have come in a Du Maurier book so farI liked both parts of the story; the adventure and the romance The adventure is well written and it was a thrilling read The romance is beautiful It is mature and fulfilling; and both parties are respectful and honourable I loved the ending where the author part the lovers physically but unite them spiritually Dona being duty bound to her children had to give up his lover physically but their souls are forever united It was one of the sweetest endings that I have read uite a while in a book It simply warmed my heart Du Maurier's writing here is remarkable There are two colours and tones with which she writes the adventure and the romance The adventure part consists of bold and daring writing which keeps the reader in suspense and the romance is written with a tenderness that warms the reader’s heart It is an amazing mix and was extremely pleasing Frenchman's Creek is such a beautiful book and it really surprises me why this book has received less attention It is a book worth of recognition To me personally it is the best of Du Maurier that I have read so far


  8. says:

    An enjoyable read but really just a historical romance and lacking the suspense and mystery of Rebecca or Jamaica Inn Her writing is as usual superb and I loved her descriptions of Cornwall and the Helford Passage which is as beautiful as she makes it sound Altogether a very readable book especially for anyone who likes a light romance but not one of du Maurier's best works


  9. says:

    Loved loved loved this novel The writing the atmosphere the spirited English woman and the French pirate Arggggh and oui oui Oui Have I mentioned the writing? This novel was sensual intense and dreamy at the same time There's barely any sensual touching still to me this was hotter than any other modern romance novel that spares no details describing intimate acts The audiobook was brilliantly narrated by John CastleI guess it's official I'm a bona fide du Maurier fan


  10. says:

    Daphne du Maurier enthralls and enchants me again This book is less foreboding than others but is still wonderful What is not to love about French pirates wooing an English woman and then allowing her to live a moment as a pirate herself? What is not to love about beautifully written prose and a very feminist slant? There is very little about which to complain in any of du Maurier's books I have now read 8 of them and am on the hunt to find her others