My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a treat. From the very first sentence you are drawn into the scene with descriptions of the sea and the Cornwall Coast that becomes a character in the story.
“When the east wind blows up Helford River the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shores.”
Du Maurier infuses the story of an English aristocratic woman in the 1800’s, a caged bird, who yearns to escape the stilted trappings of court life in London. Dona yearns to be a man with all the privledges and freedom accorded her brothers and for adventure and romance. She is an intelligent, beautiful woman who wields power over her husband, but still yearns to escape the confines of her marriage. She meets the Frenchman, a pirate by trade, who spends hours doing sketches of birds. He takes her with him on a raid and lets her spread her adventurous wings. She falls in love with a mirror image of the spirit within her that yearns to be free. I was not happy with the ending because I would have let my heart lead the way. But, this story is set in time when women were struggling for emotional and financial independence. Still, the writing is superb with insights into the human dilemma, marvelous descriptions that place you at sea and in the forest where you smell the moss and dark earth. Plus, an intriguing plot filled with suspense. I have much to learn from this great writer
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