Why this book?
Du Maurier is the master storyteller. Not only is she able to create a powerful and unsettling sense of place and atmosphere, but her stories are compelling and hook the reader from beginning to end. For me, it is all about the story, the ability to engage, enthrall, and entertain. I read so many books that are written in glorious prose, but very little happens, they’re all style over substance. They win prizes, but not the reader’s hearts. My primary goal is to write great stories, and the words are simply my means of doing this. Style should never get in the way.
Several of Du Maurier’s short stories have been made into classic films, most notably Don’t Look Now and The Birds. Jamaica Inn is classic Du Maurier, as it demonstrates both her brilliant storytelling and ability to create a strong sense of tension through the settings. The sea is an important element of the story and its relationship with the community. How it provides and takes its power, and its danger. These are themes which are very much at the heart of my second novel, The Storm.