Monday, April 13, 2009

Frenchman's Cove

Daphne Du Maurier is best known for the novel Rebecca, but she actually wrote a number of novels, plays and screenplays. While much of her work has been in the shadows for years, we are starting to see a bit more of her. Sourcebooks has recently republished her Frenchman's Creek. Fans of Rafael Sabatini and other romantic period adventures will be quite pleased with this book. Set in du Maurier's beloved Cornwall in the Restoration era, the restless and unhappily married Lady Dona St Colomb finds herself captured and eventually joining forces with a pirate.

Du Maurier clearly loves the region in which the book is set. She does an excellent job describing it and the action sequences. I suspect that most readers enjoyment will hinge on their reaction to Dona. Those looking for vicarious escape from their own troubles will take heart in her rejection of her circumstances and her place in society as she finds true love and her hearts desire at the side of a pirate. Others may blanch at her carefree rejection of parental and marital responsibility.

Reviewing her background on Wikipedia, there is the possibility that the book served as a form of escapism for Du Maurier herself. She believed that she had two personalities within her. One was a loving mother while another was a free spirited artist. There is also the question of whether her own marriage was happy or not and. I suppose that most novels can find their roots in the persona lives of their authors, but it remains interesting.

No comments: