“Frenchman’s Creek” by Daphne du Maurier

“Frenchman’s Creek” by Daphne du Maurier (1941) – 280 pages

“Frenchman’s Creek” is adventurous, romantic, and completely implausible. But that’s OK, because “Frenchman’s Creek” is a fantasy, an English woman’s romantic fantasy.

a young Daphne du Maurier

Twenty-nine year old Lady Dona St. Columb longs to escape from her boring stuffy upper-class English society, her young children, and her somewhat  of a twit husband. “Frenchman’s Creek” is about Dona’s escape. Many exciting things happen to her, but probably the most fantastical element of the novel is that Dona never feels a twinge of guilt or regret.

One thing I admire about “Frenchman’s Creek” is that it is so different from du Maurier’s other novels. I’ve read “Rebecca” and “Jamaica Inn”, and they were both dark, suspenseful, and sinister. “Frenchman’s Creek” is not at all sinister; this swashbuckling adventure is about as sunny as a novel can be. It has been made into a movie twice. The novels of du Maurier are always cinematic; “Frenchman’s Creek” is especially so.

This is du Maurier’s most romantic story, and I probably would not have chosen it if I had known. Still I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as well-written light fare. It was a fun book that has its share of humor as well as adventure and romance. The characters are all vividly drawn, especially Dona St. Columb.

The novel takes place at Navron on the English coast near Cornwall which is where Daphne du Maurier lived much of her life. Many of her novels and stories take place near Cornwall.

I had always thought that even though England and France are very close geographically, the people of these two countries kept quite separate from each other. Yet over the last few months I’ve read four English novels where the French and the English interact closely with each other. These novels are “Trespass” by Rose Tremain, “Leaving Home” by Anita Brookner, “Gemma Bovery” by Posy Simmonds, and now “Frenchman’s Creek” by Daphne du Maurier.

If you are seeking answers to the deep philosophical questions about the meaning of life or want to confront humdrum everyday routine, don’t read “Frenchman’s Creek”. If you want to be entertained with a fun implausible romantic adventure, you will be delighted by “Frenchman’s Creek”. It does not contain one speck of gritty, dour realism..

7 responses to this post.

  1. “Yet over the last few months I’ve read four English novels where the French and the English interact closely with each other.’

    Yes indeed, Tony, and a lot of that contact had to do with smuggling!

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  2. I am slowly working my way through all of Du Mauriers novels but I am saving this one till near the end as it sounds like alot of fun and I want to save a good one!

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  3. Hi Jessica,
    Interesting strategy. This is only my third by Daphne. She seems to become more popular every year.

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  4. […] Tony’s Book World: If you are seeking answers to the deep philosophical questions about the meaning of life or want to confront humdrum everyday routine, don’t read “Frenchman’s Creek”. If you want to be entertained with a fun implausible romantic adventure, you will be delighted by “Frenchman’s Creek”. It does not contain one speck of gritty, dour realism.. Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Barefoot math professor runs for environment GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "f9f9f9"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "bcc5c1"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "333333"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "CC0000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "575b59"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "books"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "science"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "fiction"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "british-writers"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "daphne-du-maurier"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "my-favourites"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Rate this: Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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