Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

When I finished listening to the audiobook version of Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, I was left sitting at my kitchen table in floods of tears. What a moving story! The first thing I thought after I finished was that this was rather like The Bridges of Madison County – a woman is married to someone and has children with him, but her true love comes later and she must ultimately decide between her family and her lover.

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This historical fiction novel is set during the reign of Charles II and Dona St. Colomb is a bored woman who engages in silly, juvenile pranks around the court. One day she has enough and decides to leave London and go to Cornwall, where her husband has a house, Navron. It is here that she finds some peace and quiet in woods around the house, and one day she finds herself by a creek in which there is a pirate ship, called La Mouette…

I won’t go into detail, but the story gets very interesting from that point on. If someone like me – a person who studies 17th-century piracy – can get swept away by Aubery, I don’t know who wouldn’t. I want to go on La Mouette with him and sail into the sunset. All the characters are delightfully created and although I had a strong dislike of Dona in the beginning, I soon warmed to her (which I think was the intention). It didn’t take long to warm to the Frenchman – crikey! What a character. I absolutely loved this book, which I am sure I’ll reread again because it is such a treasure.

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