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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

DAPHNE DU MAURIER'S LOST CLASSIC; AN ELECTRIFYING TALE OF LOVE AND SCANDAL ON THE HIGH SEAS. Jaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape. But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall's shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him. Frenchman's Creek is the breathtaking story of a woman searching for love and adventure who embraces the dangerous life of a fugitive on the seas.…

Frenchman’s Creek

by Daphne Du Maurier

Overall Book Review:

Daphne du Maurier is probably best known for her novel, Rebecca.  However, she wrote many other novels, short stories, and even some non-fiction.  (Did you know that her short story The Birds was inspiration for the Hitchcock film of the same name?)  Frenchman’s Creek is technically a historical romance that I first stumbled upon as a PBS movie.  Intrigued, I picked up the novel.  As usual, the movie adaptation and the book part ways at several points, but I enjoyed both independently and for different reasons.  Recently, I decided to revisit this book because I have often thought of it.

True, this is a romance with a fiery, spirited heroine slowly being suffocated by her life and a gentile, handsome pirate; it is unapologetically romantic at times.  If the reader needs a heroine to be likeable and upright, then perhaps Lady Dona St. Columb is not for them.  She isn’t particularly admirable in many ways, and she would agree with that assessment, so at least she has that redeeming quality.  She makes a lot of choices in this book, and I often have thought on the choices she made, which is perhaps why I returned to this novel.  For readers who are honest with themselves though, they will have to admit that she had a fallible humanity that at times was quite genuine, and that we all at times have wished to take up piracy and sail away from our situations.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  9 religious exclamations; 40 mild obscenities; 8 religious profanities; 1 derogatory name.

Violence/Gore:  Reports of piracy; report of masquerading as bandits and robbing people; threats to hang; characters receive scrapes and bruises; character is injured severely, mention of blood; ~ 3 page fight where man threatens and attempts to kill a woman, fighting by hitting with objects, stabbing with knife, etc. mention of blood, a death results from confrontation; there is a physical struggle and a character is knocked unconscious.

Sex/Nudity:  Reference to ravishing; married woman flirts with a man who is not her husband; kiss hand (social); reference to whores; conversation with innuendo; innuendo; brief conversation about Englishmen not being good lovers; character changes clothes (non-sexual): general references to pirates raping; innuendo/implication that unmarried man and a married woman had sex; reference to the king’s new mistress; report that woman kissed a man who wasn’t her husband after a couple of glasses of wine; general rumors of philandering; characters kiss; character speculates in passing if a man might have gotten someone with child (not true).

Mature Subject Matter:

Piracy, marriage infidelity, treason.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink socially, sometimes to excess; smoke pipe.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!