256 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
Christopher L. Hayes
Progress: 17/304 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Progress: 96/454 pages
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
Progress: 22/750 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 189 pages.

Rebecca / Jamaica Inn / Frenchman's Creek / My cousin Rachel. - Daphne du Maurier

Historical setting is confirmed as early 1800s, almost certainly prior to Victoria (1837).  That gives it some context, sort of.


From my previous reading several decades ago I remembered the general plot and one of the major twists, but not much more, so this really is very close to a "new" read. 


And now for a lot of spoilers.


Mary Yellan is not coming across as a very sympathetic character to me, and I think that's primarily because she's a.) weak, and b.) inconsistent.  One minute she's saying her life is over and she doesn't care if she lives or dies, the next minute she's plotting her escape from her Uncle Joss.


What I've come to believe at this point is that du Maurier was not writing Mary Yellan's story as much as she was exploiting the gruesome history of Cornish smuggling and wrecking.  There are too many holes in the plot for this to be a character-driven story.


At age 23, Mary is not a minor in need of a guardian, even though she is female.  So I'm not sure why she was forced to sell the farm she would have inherited from her mother.  The only motivation is that she was doing as her mother wished, but given what her mother had been through during 17 years of widowhood to hang onto the farm, why let it go?  Maybe that sort of thing didn't occur to the young du Maurier, who came from comfortable wealth.  After all, Mary had struggled, too, to help her mother run the farm, and now she just up and sells it?  Doesn't make sense.  Why would her mother want her to?


Even so, what happened to the cash she got from selling the farm?  It's never mentioned.


Mary's ignorance of smuggling is a bit difficult to believe if she grew up in a small coastal village in Cornwall.


(show spoiler)

The descriptions of the setting are superb, though I have to admit I'm sometimes a bit confused as to how much Mary can actually see in the dead of a rainy night.


I'll probably finish tonight, and then we'll see how I feel about Mary. Right now, I don't much care for her, and the rest of the characters are so icky that I don't care about any of them.