Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
Dona St. Columb is sick of her life in Restoration London. In order to get away from the life she has led and the actions she has take – some of which do not make her very proud of herself – she takes her children and all but flees to her husband’s estate in Cornwall. Once there, she is called upon by an insufferable neighbor who requests that she summon her husband from London in order that he might help their neighbors rid themselves of a dastardly pirate who has been terrorizing the area. Dona is no shrinking violet to be scared of a little thing like a pirate. In fact, she ends up befriending – and more – the Frenchman, joining him in love and adventure before the gentlemen of the surrounding area close in upon him.
This was the first novel of du Marurier’s I have read and I must say, it was definitely enjoyable. She has quite a way with words, the language she used was simply beautiful. I particularly liked the opening of the novel, where a fisherman from the story’s future begins to feel the pull of the creek and the story of Dona and the Frenchman. It was definitely more romance-y than I really prefer, although only suggestive and not explicit. The romance aspect of the story is the one thing I really didn’t like, actually. I didn’t really get how exactly Dona and the Frenchman fell in love. It wasn’t a nice, gradual deepening of emotion, it seemed more as if they like and lusted for one another, perhaps Dona lusting most of all for something different than what she had in her life. That part just didn’t really work for me, but then I’m not a fan of romances.
Despite my slight problem with the central relationship in the book, I did like “Frenchman’s Creek.” The prose and the adventure story were enough for me to be thoroughly satisfied.