As most of you probably know I am a massive fan of Daphne Du Maurier’s work- I think her writing is brilliant and I really love her books- all the ones I’ve read anyway! So this is a listicle of the 5 things I love about Daphne Du Maurier.
1. Her style of writing
Du Maurier just has a way of writing that is so wonderful- it draws you in and yet there’s still a lot of beautiful description. I’m not overly-keen on books that have masses of description and flowery words, but I find that Du Maurier’s books combine great action and character development with amazing (usually Cornish) description!
The way her words flow and are formed is also beautiful- she’s just got a beautiful way with words that I adore.
“We came to Manderley in early May, arriving, so Maxim said, with the first swallows and the bluebells. It would be the best moment, before the full flush of summer, and in the valley the azaleas would be prodigal of scent, and the blood-red rhododendrons in bloom.”
2. Her settings
This is similar to the fist point, but the places Du Maurier sets her novels are chosen brilliantly and the fact that most of them are set in Cornwall- a place I really want to go!- makes it even better.
‘Jamaica Inn’, one of my favourite Du Maurier novels, has brilliant descriptions of the hills and moors of Cornwall and I love to imagine Mary, the main character, wandering around the moors on long walks, trying to find Jem and avoiding her Uncle Joss.
3. Her romances
I love the romance in the aforementioned ‘Jamaica Inn’- Jem and Mary are just so cute and it’s a classic tale of Mary not liking Jem but then gradually growing to like him, despite his often ‘immorality’ as a horse thief. One of my favourite scenes from that book is when Jem sells a stolen pony back to its former owner and Mary, who sometimes is a little self-righteous, can’t help laughing.
The forbidden romance of ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ is also brilliant and I think that Du Maurier creates dashing, mysterious men that the reader falls in love with almost as much as the women.
4. Her strong women characters
Du Maurier’s novels are all of course set in the past, and so some of the women characters can come across as weak or annoying for a modern reader (the narrator in ‘Rebecca‘, for example), but in the majority of Du Maurier’s novels there is a female character that the strong modern woman can relate to and I think this is something that makes Du Maurier’s writing brilliant.
In ‘Jamaica Inn’ I can’t help but love Mary Yellan and the way she stands up against her Uncle Joss is frankly amazing, I’d never dare say the things she says to him. Rebecca in ‘Rebecca’ also sounds like a feisty, feminist character and I sometimes wonder if the book would be more interesting if it was from her point of view.
5. Her characterisation
In all of her novels Du Maurier’s characters go through certain experiences that certainly change or challenge them, with ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ challenging the female protagonists morals, and ‘My Cousin Rachel’ encouraging contradictions in the mind of the main character.
However, despite the challenges they come up against and the way their lives are turned around throughout the novels, they are not novels about ‘journeys’, just likeable characters who the reader can relate to and enjoy reading about. There’s something really important about a character the reader and relate to or root for and I think, with a couple of exceptions, Du Maurier offers this through her characters.
So there you go, five reasons why I love Daphne Du Maurier!! Have you ever read any books by Du Maurier? Do you feel inspired to read some now?
Let me know all your random thoughts in the comments 🙂
Happy reading x
Currently reading: ‘No et Moi’ par Delphine de Vigan