Tag: gothic

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Jamaica Inn
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1936
307 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

Kim’s Review:

I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.

Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.

I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Sunday Series VIDEO Review: House of Shadows by Darcy Coates

Today Kim is bringing you a Sunday Series VIDEO review of the House of Shadows duology by Darcy Coates.

Books in the Duology:
House of Shadows
House of Secrets


House of Shadows
Published: October 15, 2015
294 Pages

Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage.

Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation.

Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.

The piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceiling. Sophie is pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.

Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding something… and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.

House of Secrets
Published: May 12, 2016
246 Pages

Sophie and Joseph’s escape from Northwood is short-lived. The beast survived, and attached itself to Joseph’s young cousin, Elise. Garrett writes to beg for their help. Joseph and Sophie travel to meet him at Kensington, a long-abandoned mansion that overlooks a dead town.

The house offers a small hope: its original owner had dedicated her life to researching the monster that possesses Elise. Garrett hopes to find a way to kill the creature without harming his daughter.

But Kensington is a dangerous building. Once the carriage leaves, they’re trapped inside the collapsing walls and forced to confront the horrors within.

Shrouded figures stalk them. Whispers echo through the night. Unmarked graves dot the property. And the dead are not as restful as they seem..


Kim’s Ratings of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Thoughts on House of Shadows Series:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US:
House of Shadows
House of Secrets

Amazon UK

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My Cousin Rachel

Author: Daphne du Maurier
First Published: 1951
400 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Ashley’s older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose’s beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear. Now Rachel has arrived at Philip’s newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip’s grief at Ambrose’s death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose’s estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.

Kim’s Review:

I totally remember why I love Daphne du Maurier. I first read Rebecca back when I was a freshman in high school. My English teacher (Hi, Mrs. Buck, I love you!), who was easily one of my all time favorite teachers, gave us a list of books and we had to pick one, read it, and write a report on it. I picked Rebecca and it blew my mind. I then read Jamaica Inn and The King’s General and du Maurier was forever established as one of my favorite classical authors.

Ivan’s sister, Ruth, who is seriously one of the coolest people I know, read My Cousin Rachel and she loved it, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s such a great book! It’s got that gothic mystery quality about it. Though it’s not really horror, it’s definitely psychological thriller. It had me going the whole time. I ended up having to get the audiobook so I could finish it on my drive out to the MKA signing in the Outer Banks. I just couldn’t wait to finish it. There were some unexpected plot twists that really surprised me.

I now have to go back and reread Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and maybe find some new du Maurier books. I absolutely recommend My Cousin Rachel to anybody who likes classic, gothic fiction.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

My Cousin Rachel Movie Trailer:

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