Review: Frenchman’s Creek

Frenchman’s Creek is the third of Daphne DuMaurier’s books I’ve read and the second one I’ve read alongside Jo of Bibliojunkie. She’s my DuMaurier reading buddy! 🙂

About the novel, our heroine is Lady Dona St. Columb who can’t take polite society life in London any longer and flees with her children to her husband’s estate in Cornwall. There she runs into a French pirate with whom she embarks on all kinds of adventures.

I have to admit I both dreaded and looked forward to reading this one. The mere mention of a dashing French pirate made me giggle, and the romance sounded very Gone with the Wind to me (I know everyone loves it, but I’m rather allergic to grand dramatic romances), but surprisingly DuMaurier kept me reading and I even enjoyed the story.

The pirate and Dona’s romance was not for me but if you like romances you’ll love this one. Can’t remember the pirate’s hair color but he’s a typical case of tall, dark and handsome. Also, he’s educated and well-mannered. What interested me and made me keep reading was Dona’s desire for life, adventure and freedom. Women have been and are restrained by their roles of mothers and wives and Dona trying to shed the constraints put on her was the highlight of this novel for me. But of course both women and men are to some degree un-free. Despite the realities of the pirate’s life, it must have been amazing to take to the sea with a sense of free.

DuMaurier is really at her best when she describes Cornwall, her writing is so visual it was easy to imagine the Frenchman and Dona there chasing freedom.

So this novel is quite fantastic if you enjoy romances and swashbuckling fun, but even if you tend to avoid books like that, make an exception for Frenchman’s Creek.

My next DuMaurier read will be Cousin Rachel which I’m very much looking forward to. DuMaurier writing a mystery has to be amazing!

Other thoughts:


18 thoughts on “Review: Frenchman’s Creek

  1. Thanks for a short and nice review Bina! Since we are Du Maurier’s reading buddy, don’t read My Cousin Rachel without me! When are you going to read it? I was thinking of keeping up with our traditions of reading one a year, so in the meantime I could go back to her first book and work my way through to My Cousin Rachel with you when the time comes, same time next year. 😀 Any plans?

    1. I had you in mind, course I’ll read it with you, it’s tradition 🙂 And I’m happy to wait till next year. Perhaps in February or March, when the weather is still cold and creepy and makes excellent DuMaurier reading? 🙂

  2. Wonderful review, Bina! When I read in your review that Lady Dona encounters a French pirate and has all kinds of swashbuckling adventures, I wondered why I haven’t read this book yet! It looked like Du Maurier has written a Rafael Sabatini novel with a strong woman character – I have to read this now! (Have you read Rafael Sabatini’s ‘Captain Blood’?) Thanks for this enthusiastic review! I am going to look for ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ when I go to the library / bookstore next time.

    1. Haha, I was surprised that I enjoyed it, but that’s DuMaurier for you! I haven’t read the Sabatini, I’m not usually one for pirates and musketeers etc, but you got me with the strong female character 🙂
      Hope you can find a copy of Frenchman’s Creek!

    1. I was a bit reluctant to read the book because of that, but then figured it’s DuMaurier 🙂 It’s not my favorite book but the closest I’ve ever come to enjoy pirate stories.

  3. Last year I read and loved both Rebecca, and The Birds and Other Short Stories by Du Maurier. Since then I’ve wanted to read more of her work but not really got round to it, but after reading you and Jo’s review I think I definitely need to give this a go 🙂

  4. My Cousin Rachel is fantastic. I read it right after Rebecca and was swept away, so hope you enjoy it as much as I did, if not more.

    I haven’t read this one yet, but will pick it up in due course. I want to read all her books, because her writing is incredible.

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