Frenchman's Creek

Frenchman's Creek

by Daphne du Maurier

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Frenchman's Creek 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this story. I read this novel over ten years ago and I still can pick it up and enjoy the tale all over again. This is a story of a woman who finds herself and finds happiness within her life. The main character is a young thirty something mother who is unhappy with London's society and her own life really. She goes into the countryside with her two children and finds a servant who uses her husband's country manor as a safe haven for his true master, a mysterious pirate. The story will suck you in and will have you flipping the pages till the end. Read it. ~CND
Epi-girl More than 1 year ago
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It is one I will read again and again!
bluebell More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading the book, I was a little wary of the main character, Dona. But that quickly faded, and I began to love her and the mysterious French pirate she falls in love with. And her servant William is my favorite character of all! Such excellent writing. This book is funny, romantic, and very suspenseful. I could read this book over and over.
Misfit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set during the reign of Charles II, Lady Dona St. Columb finally tires of her husband and his hard playing friends and abandons London for their estate in Cornwall. Dona and her children thrive in the country life, but not all is as it seems - there's a bit of a mystery surrounding the servant in charge of the house, let alone wondering who has been sleeping in her room and left behind a pouch of tobacco and a book of poetry. The locals are restless with the recent attacks from French pirates and Dona soon finds herself swept up in it all as it appears it is her house and land they have been using as their hideaway and the handsome Frenchman Jean-Benoit Aubery impossible to resist. That's all I'm telling, read it for yourself. While certainly not Du Maurier's best, it was a very enjoyable tale of love, pirates, a daring escape or two in just in the nick of time and frankly I had a hard time putting it down.
LauraH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely tale of an upper-class woman who is bored of her pompous daily life and desperately desires the freedom to do as she pleases. Du Maurier's writting brings the main character (Lady Dona St Columb) to life to a degree that the reader is able to empathise with her. Perfect for those who enjoy romance and history.
LibraryLou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great story from Du Maurier. More girly than others, but a great read nonetheless. What girl hasnt dreamt of being swept away by a feared Pirate, and having adventures. Brilliant book.
DevourerOfBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
abruno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lady Dona has grown weary of her high society life. She is fed up with the endless parties filled of people with too much money and too less to do. It's an inane and nonsensical existence - sleeping until noon and staying up all night in the card houses. Playing silly jokes just to pass time. Boredom of the rich is nothing to scoff at.Finally, she can't take it anymore, the urge to flee is too overwhelming. Telling her husband that she would like some time alone, she grabs her two kids and a nurse and sets off at break-neck speed to their house at Navron in Cornwall. Upon arrival, she finds there is only one servant, William with the strange accent that she can't quite place. He and Lady Dona seem to almost click at once, then develop a relationship throughout. They have some great repartee! Dona settles nicely into life at Navron. Playing with the children, getting dirty and enjoying the country suit her just fine and you can feel the real Dona emerging. And the woman here is much more likeable than the woman in the beginning. She is mischievous and funny, laid back and a realist. It's solely to her precariousness that she stumbles across the Frenchman in his hidden creek - she figures quickly that this must be the pirate the locals have told her about. The French pirate that's been stealing from them, the one they have been unable to catch. She also links him to her servant, William, thus securing him as a partner in crime to her meetings with the Frenchman. Adventure awaits her upon La Mouette and she is not going to let this opportunity go by.DaMaurier writes a smartly crafted novel about one woman's need to escape, the need to feel something real, something tangible. At the same time Dona is a realist and appreciates that she can't escape forever - above anything, she is a mother and knows her place is with them. But, she'll always have that memory, that moment, that is truly hers alone - and she can escape there anytime...with her mind.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frenchman¿s Creek is an adventure story. Set in the 17th century, the story revolves around Dona St. Columb, a aristocratic woman who rebels against society¿s constraints. She escapes to the family¿s long-abandoned estate in Cornwall, where a band of pirates have beset her neighbors. Soon Dona falls in with the pirates¿ leader, the elusive Frenchman of the title. Their romance is facilitated by one of Dona¿s servants, William. Frenchman¿s Creek is perhaps the fifth or sixth Daphne Du Maurier novel I¿ve read. It¿s not her best, but it¿s pretty good nonetheless. This novel works well as an adventure story and historical fiction, but some parts of the plot were hard for me to believe. For example, I found it hard to believe that Dona¿s husband, Harry, could have been as clueless about his wife¿s activities, even when they were going on right under his nose. I also found it hard to understand why the neighbors didn¿t notice anything amiss, either! I also felt that it was hard to get a real take on the Frenchman¿s character. The romance was a bit stilted too. You sort of have to suspend your sense of disbelief while reading this book. In the end, though, this was an intriguing, fast-paged story about a woman forced to make choices.
iubookgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Daphne Du Maurier is a true spinner of tales. She expertly weaves romance and mystery into a thought-provoking story. Frenchman's Creek is no exception. The tale of Dona St Columb entrances the reader from the beginning and makes one consider the state of her own life. I heartily recommend Frenchman's Creek to anyone who appreciates romance, mystery or the gothic novel. One of my favorite books is Du Maurier's Rebecca, and Frenchman's Creek does not disappoint. It solidifies my love of Daphne Du Maurier. I praise Sourcebooks for bringing her work to a new generation of readers.
Renz0808 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier is a novel about escaping life, feeling suffocated with oneself and longing for something different. Dona St. Columb is sick of her life and longing for change. She has been rebelling slowly from her husband, children and society for some time now, but she realizes that this rebelling is also not given her any satisfaction and is only causing her more pain. She decides to take her small children and leave her husband in London and travel to their family estate in Cornwall. Once their she begins to feel better, more freer and at peace. She discovers a band of pirates along the creek and soon meets their master, the Frenchman. Both are drawn to each other and begin to realize the power of love, and the Frenchman gives Dona what she has longed for without even knowing it, an adventure. I have read many books so far by Du Maurier and I just savor them like fine chocolate. I really enjoyed this one as well. What I admire most about her writing is her ability to make such mundane, unrealistic plot lines so poetic, suspenseful and different. I think that if anyone else had written this story it would have sounded cheap, fluffy and gag worthy. Even though at times, the story does become hard to believe, it is fun and exciting. I do not know how she does it but she draws her audience in from the first page, and her books are so hard to put down.This probably was not my favorite of hers that I have read so far, but I still find it better than most other books with similar plot lines. I enjoyed her mix of historical fiction, suspense and romance in this book. Dona is an interesting heroine, even though she is beautiful, she is far from perfect and makes many mistakes but she really does feel caged with her life and does not know what to do with herself. By contrast, the Frenchman (what Dona refers to him by) recognizes himself in Dona without even really knowing her. Their love is built on this understanding of souls and their possession of one another is intense, even at times it seems rushed and unbelievable.
Luli81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not as good as Rebecca, but the usual tale about responsibilities against forgotten wishes, conscience and irrational longing.Temptation beating strongly from Du Maurier's sentences.I enjoyed it.
gbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A romance, an adventure, a guilty pleasure. The Lady Dona St. Columb leaves high society and her loving but boring and oafish husband seeking adventure, and inadvertently falls in with a band of French pirates who have been plundering the English coast. Instead of a bloodthirsty and uncivilized band of marauders who threaten rape or violence, she finds them to be intelligent, playful, and simply out for adventure as she is; heck they¿re even altruistic, giving their booty away to help the poor in Brittany.And you can kinda see it coming - the captain turns out to be the `perfect¿ man. He has an uncanny understanding of her moods, both in the feelings themselves and in how to react. He is confident, dashing, and adventurous, but has no need to boast about it. He is strong and manly yet gentle, not forcing himself on her physically or in conversations. He is able to take her on adventures and give her the exciting experiences she longs for. He has a sense of humor, but not in a mean way; he uses `smiling eyes¿ or mocks in the lightest of ways. He¿s able to feed her and protect her in an almost a fatherly way; she sometimes thinks of herself as a spoiled child, though she feels a sense of peace and happiness in his presence. In his free time he fills pages with drawings of sea birds and her likeness. Lastly, despite his love of freedom and excitement he is ultimately willing to settle down for love, for HER.Whether that happens or not I leave for you to find out. But the point is, wow, how can her husband possibly compete with this? Or any `actual¿ man for that matter? Sheesh. Gee thanks Du Maurier for setting the bar impossibly high for us mortals in the real world.This is definitely chick-lit country and while it¿s far from a great book, it was an enjoyable and quick read. I liked the repartee of the characters as well as the feeling of fleeting happiness which Du Murier utilizes to play on the heartstrings of old saps like me.Quotes:On happiness that is fleeting:¿And all this, she thought, is only momentary, is only a fragment in time that will never come again, for yesterday already belongs to the past and is ours no longer, and tomorrow is an unknown thing that may be hostile. This is our day, our moment, the sun belongs to us, and the wind, and the sea, and the men for¿ard there singing on the deck. The day is forever a day to be held and cherished, because in it we shall have lived, and loved, and nothing else matters but that in this world of our own making to which we have escaped.¿On love:¿¿she remembered the feel of his back that had lain against hers all the night, and she thought with pity for all men and women who were not light-hearted when they loved, who were cold, who were reluctant, who were shy, who imagined that passion and tenderness were two things separate from one another, and not the one, gloriously intermingled, so that to be fierce was also to be gentle, so that silence was a speaking without words. For love, as she knew it now, was something without shame and without reserve, the possession of two people who had no barrier between them, and no pride; whatever happened to him would happen to her too, all feeling, all movement, all sensation of body and of mind.¿On peace:¿It seemed to her, as they sat there side by side, without a word, that she had never known peace before, until this moment, that all the restless devils inside her who fought and struggled so often for release were, because of this silence and his presence, now appeased. She felt, in a sense, like someone who had fallen under a spell, under some strange enchantment, because this sensation of quietude was foreign to her, who had lived hitherto in a turmoil of sound and movement.¿On transience:¿So much loveliness, swiftly come and swiftly gone, and she knew in her heart that this was the last time of looking upon it all, and that she would never come to Navron again. Part of her would linger there for ever: a footst
lisalouhoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read and loved Rebecca as a teenager, and am unsure why I never sought out any of the other novels by the author, but after reading this book I will be sure to do so. I am so glad that Sourcebooks is reprinting this, and hope that it can find its way to many other people who have missed it, as I have. On the rare occasion I have the experience where book and mood meet perfectly. This happened with Frenchman's Creek, a book I am sure that I would have very much enjoyed no matter my mood, but which was exactly the book I was seeking at the time I read it. The wild, windy March days--with looming storm, and gathering clouds, the brief hours of sunshine tempered by drops of ice cold rain, and mud-causing snow--have left me restless and wild myself, longing for escape. And so enter Dona St. Columb, the beautiful but restless Lady, tired of London high society, longing for escape from the falsity and uselessness of her life. After a foolish escapade, and stupid flirtation, she sets off, with her two young children and their nurse, to her husband's country estate surrounded by forest river and ocean. All she wants is to find some solitude and peace--far away from the stench of the stifling London summer, and a husband who can not understand her."Forget the children's tears, forget Prue's grievance, forget the pursed up mouth of the coachman, forget Harry and his troubled distressed blue eyes when she announced her decision. "But damn, Dona, what have I done, what have I said, don't you know that I adore you?" Forget all these things, because this was freedom, to stand here for one minute with her face to the sun and the wind, this was living, to smile and to be alone. "The descriptions of the nature and life teeming around the estate--the birds and butterflies, wildflowers and trees, creeks and ocean--bringing joy and peace to Dona and her children, are so well done that I feel as if I were there, in the Cornish countryside. I am transported away from the cold wind, the six inches of March snow I shoveled off of the walks this morning, the snow which keeps coming and will necessitate another shoveling in a few short hours. Instead I drowse lazily, being baked by the sun; I tramp through the thick woods; I stand above the ocean, the salty breeze enlivening me."The birds were astir again, after their noonday silence, and the silent butterflies danced and fluttered, while drowsy bumblebees hummed in the warm air, winging their way to the topmost branches of the trees... and there, suddenly before her for the first time was the creek, still and soundless, shrouded by the trees, hidden from the eyes of men. She stared at it in wonder, for she had had no knowledge of its existence, this stealthy branch of the parent river creeping into her own property, so sheltered, so concealed by the woods themselves. The tide was ebbing, the water was oozing away from the mudflats, and here, where she stood, was the head of the creek itself, for the stream ended in a trickle, and the trickle in a spring. The creek twisted around a belt of trees, and she began to walk along the bank, happy, fascinated, forgetting her mission, for this discovery was a pleasure quite unexpected, this creek was a source of enchantment, a new escape, better than Navron itself, a place to drowse and sleep, a lotus-land. "Her stodgy neighbor had warned her about pirates, who have been robbing from the estates up and down the coast, and reportedly having their way with the womenfolk. Their leader a dangerous frenchman, so stealthy and with a ship so fast that he has not been aprehended. Dona had listened to the reports with some amusement, but really paid them no mind until she caught sight of the ship in the creek on her land, and at the same time found herself covered with a coat, and forced onto the pirate ship.What she finds there astounds her, there is no sign of the steriotypical pirate, but an educated, tidy, considerate artist. And beyond the peace which she had soug
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A highly romantic tale of star-crossed lovers and piracy this doesn¿t seem like the kind of thing I¿d like or even read, but I was in a funny mood one day and decided to buy it. Sometimes a girl needs something light and romantic and there aren¿t many books of this description on my shelves. That said I wasn¿t going to get just any chick lit; it had to be quality. Having read three other du Maurier novels I thought this was a safe bet.And it largely was. Nothing was particularly subtle here. Husband was a dullard who was primarily interested in gambling and drinking. Wife was comparatively brilliant and suddenly possessed of a desire to better herself. Best friend was rapacious, sly and had sway over the husband. Pirate was suave, daring and sensitive; just the ticket for a bored housewife. Local gentry were oafs with high opinions of themselves. All deliciously rendered for scorn and admiration all around.After a slow and deliberately tortured build-up, Dona finally leaves her matron self abed and goes adventuring with her pirate. It is very romantic; forest walks, charcoal sketches of the beloved, banter, fishing, dining al fresco, more banter, moonlight swims etc, etc, etc. However enjoyable it is, they both know it can¿t last and most of their conversations are about this. Even after a horrific battle, capture and escape we know they are going to part and because of the graceful and attentive way it was done, we don¿t even mind. There are hints of possible meetings to come and that gives one hope. But we¿re proud of Dona because she chooses her married life. It¿s unselfish and honorable. Now she¿s tasted freedom, she can bear her fallow domestic existence with equanimity. The memories of her wild adventures, unknown by her family, will carry her though.
elliepotten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started this book with a few expectations, I suppose. On some I was correct - the plot, of which I knew a little, is straight out of Mills and Boon, for example... On others I was not. Having 'Rebecca' as my only du Maurier reference point so far, I was interested to find that 'Frenchman's Creek' could have been written by an entirely different writer. The only obvious similarity stems from the descriptive prose, which I recognised from the haunting passages about the path down through the rhodedendrons to the little cove in 'Rebecca'.'Frenchman's Creek' is like a very, very well written trashy romance novel. Mills and Boon taken a few welcome steps in the right direction. Or maybe Pocahontas in reverse - wild man arrives and turns everything upside down, teaching civilised woman her own strength in the process. Basic plot: Lady Dona St Columb leaves London for the family retreat, Navron House in Cornwall, to escape her oafish husband and her bad behaviour in the face of her sheer boredom. At Navron she can enjoy the sun and the garden and find her 'inner Dona', the woman she has always wanted to be. Then she hears about a ruthless French pirate and his marauding crew who have been terrorising the coastline, robbing the wealthy and escaping into thin air... and so the tale really begins.Even at its climax, the novel is far gentler in its manner than 'Rebecca', but this isn't by any means a bad thing. Althought it starts in a slightly dry fashion and occasionally slows enough for a bit of cliche and clunk to show through, I really appreciated the lyrical descriptions of Cornwall and the exploration of love and freedom. Likewise, though the characters aren't really fleshed out as much as I might have liked, the two sets of conflicting individuals, experiences and values at its core play against each other very well. I'll definitely be reading more Du Maurier and I'm looking forward to seeing where her style and stories will take me next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book. I first read the book and saw the movie (in a theatre) over 50 years ago; I was delighted that you now offer it as a NOOK e-Book.
lorrib More than 1 year ago
one of my all-time favorites from a favorite author--Dona's adventures "finding herself" especially the scene about the birth of a baby are great. I too loved William!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Kitty-Pride More than 1 year ago
From the author of Rebeca and the short story The Birds, du Maurier's out-of-print/in-print book is a great gem for any personal library. Written in 1942 but set in Restoration London (1660), easily slides into the historical fiction genre, romance, and fiction all at once. Lady Dona St. Columb is just a few months shy of 30, as she mentions throughout the story, and yet it is the backdrop of her discontent as she starts to question her existence and high jinks among London's high society. After a particular stunt that drives her to shame, she flees London with her two children to her husband's estate in Cornwall and seeks to find herself in the countryside's quietness and solitude. Lady St. Columb soon discovers the underbelly of the veneer of her surroundings and partakes of life and death adventures.
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