Ranking the du Maurier Men (Open to Modification)

What cheek, especially since self has only read (thus far) two du Maurier novels: Jamaica Inn and Rebecca.

Anyhoo, here are all the du Maurier men self has encountered thus far, ranked in order of Personal Magnetism and General Badass-ery:

  1. Of course Francis Davey, the Vicar of Altarnun (Jamaica Inn)
  2. Frank Crawley (Rebecca)
  3. Joss Merlyn (Jamaica Inn)
  4. Jem Merlyn (Jamaica Inn)
  5. Maxim de Winter (Rebecca)
  6. Frankie What’s-His-Face (The Bad Guy in Rebecca)
  7. Harry the Pedlar (Jamaica Inn)
  8. Dr. Baker (Rebecca)
  9. Mr. Tibbs (Shipbuilder, Rebecca)
  10. Ben (Lurker in the Woods of Manderley)
  11. The Squire (Mr. Basatt, Jamaica Inn)
  12. Richards (groom to the Squire, Mr. Basatt, Jamaica Inn)
  13. Firth (Manservant, Rebecca)
  14. The Lynx-Eyed Man at the Horse Market in Launceston (Jamaica Inn) — who may in fact be Mr. Basatt, will re-read to make certain

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Half In Love with the Vicar of Altarnun

It’s an actual town, Altarnun. Self just looked it up.

Here is the vicar in Chapter 17 of Jamaica Inn (Hands down, her favorite book of the year):

  • He rose from his chair and stood before the fire, a lean black figure with white hair and eyes, and his voice was gentle now, as she had known it first.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Vicar of Altarnun in JAMAICA INN

This vicar reminds self a bit of Magnus Bane in The Infernal Devices! Magnus, the eerily all-knowing, prescient warlock.

Self loves this novel’s strangeness and hyper-surrealism.

SPOILER-IFFIC

Chapter 10

“There will be a chain across England, Mary, that will be very hard to break. Now do you understand?”

He opened the door of the carriage and stepped out into the road. He bared his head under the rain, and she saw the thick white hair frame his face like a halo. He smiled again to her and bowed, and he reached for her hand once more and held it a moment. “Your troubles are over,” he said; “the wagon wheels will rust and the barred room at the end of the passage can be turned into a parlour. Your aunt will sleep in peace again, and your uncle will either drink himself to death and be a riddance to all of you, or he will turn Wesleyan and preach to travellers on the high-road. As for you, you will ride south again and find a lover.”

Holy Smokes, that Vicar!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mary Yellan, Jem Merlyn: JAMAICA INN, Ch. 9

He whistled as he approached her and flung a small package at her feet. “A Happy Christmas to you,” he said. “I had a silver piece in my pocket yesterday and it burnt a hole. There’s a new handkerchief for your head.”

She had meant to be curt and silent on meeting him, but his introduction made it difficult for her. “That’s very kind of you,” she said. “I’m afraid you’ve wasted your money all the same.”

“That doesn’t worry me, I’m used to it,” he told her, and he looked her up and down in the cool offensive way of his, and whistled a tuneless song.

Jamaica Inn continues dee-lish.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Jamaica Inn, Ch. 5

Mary Yellan at dinner with her uncle, Joss Merlyn:

  • And she answered “Yes” and “No” in reply to her uncle, and drank down her tea, watching him over the brim of her cup, her eyes travelling from his great plate of steaming stew to his long, powerful fingers, hideous in their strength and grace.

This Scene: Jamaica Inn, Ch. 2

Her aunt, who had not uttered a word since her husband entered the room, was frying bacon over the fire. No one spoke. Mary was aware of Joss Merlyn watching her across the table, and behind her she could hear her aunt fumbling with ineffectual fingers at the hot handle of the frying pan.

Some Thoughts:

  • The frying of the bacon in the middle of the night is a very interesting touch.
  • Joss Merlyn is an utter pig and Mary has certainly landed herself in a pickle, stuck with him and his cowed wife in an inn of uncertain repute in the middle of a nightmarishly stark and unfamiliar landscape.

So far, the novel reads like one of those dark fairy tales where a damsel in distress has to endure trial by fire before she encounters a) a prince; b) a fairy godmother; c) an inheritance.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Redwood City Public Library Author Series, Fall 2018

DSCN0201

Fireplace Room, Downtown Library, Redwood City

The first reading of the series was Holocaust Survivor, Public Speaker and Memoirist Sylvia Ruth Gutmann, reading from her book A Life Rebuilt: The Remarkable Transformation of a War Orphan. It was held two nights ago, in the Fireplace Room of the Main Library, and self is most happy to report the reading was a resounding success: a sizeable audience packed the room. High Fives to Sylvia Ruth Gutman for kicking off the series on such an auspicious note!

The second reading is a Women Authors Panel featuring self, Lillian Howan and Veronica Montes. Saturday, Sept. 8, 2:30 p.m., at the Fireplace Room of the Downtown Library. Self is a long-time Redwood City resident, and she’s so pleased to be reading with two of her favorite writers!

Veronica Montes’s first book, Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories (Philippine American Literary House, 2018), is a sparkling collection of stories about Filipino Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lillian Howan’s first novel, The Charm Buyers (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017) is an extraordinary and powerful love story, set in Tahiti during the last years of French nuclear testing in the Pacific, in the 1990s.

About self: She’s published three collections of short stories (Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, Mayor of the Roses, and The Lost Language) and a novella, Jenalyn (Vagabondage Press), that was a finalist for the 2014 Saboteur Award. She has stories published or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Crab Orchard Review, Juked, and Prairie Schooner.

Summer-Author-SeriesRWCSept2018

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The last event in the series is a reading by Vanessa Garcia, reading from See You at the 7: Stories from the Bay Area’s Last Original Mile House. The 7 Mile House in Brisbane is the only Bay Area mile house operating at its original location. Garcia will read on Sept. 26, 7 p.m., in the Downtown Library Community Room.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

The End of Rebecca

Self has been pondering Rebecca since she finished reading it, late last night.

She spent almost two full days in pajamas, that’s how deeply vested she became in the narrative and the array of characters: the landscape, the house, the manners, the hopelessly fish-out-of-water narrator, the malevolent first wife, the mysterious (and rather odious) Maxim de Winter, the loyal and absolutely upstanding agent/lawyer Frank Crawley (who ended up being self’s favorite character), the well-meaning but annoying Beatrice, the servants Frith and Robert, Tabb the shipbuilder, of course the gray Mrs. Danvers, the newbie maid Clarice, even the dog Jasper for heaven’s sake!

Self was rather under-whelmed by Mrs. Danvers at the end.

There were many hints of wild orgies at the beach cottage. And poor Maxim turned out to be such a doormat! At least, as far as Rebecca was concerned. So different from the man who makes an impetuous proposal to the narrator in Monte Carlo!

After finishing, self went back and read the first two chapters. Thinking, reflecting, and feeling like the story can’t end here, it must go on.

But alas! It does end.

Self began Jamaica Inn.

Stay tuned.

Before I Was Your Slave, Now I Am Your Master: REBECCA, Ch. 21

SPOILER ALERT!

Having discovered that her husband is a murderer, the narrator is exhilarated because at last she has proof positive that he is not still in love with Rebecca!

Well-armoured with that knowledge, she goes calmly snipping roses in the rose-garden.

Then comes the moment of truth: the climactic confrontation with Mrs. Danvers.

It’s over that day’s menu.

The narrator finds it unsatisfactory, so she draws a pencil slash across the whole thing and sends it back to the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Danvers materializes to ask why the menu has been sent back.

“I don’t understand,” (Mrs. Danver says)

I looked at her, a rose in my hand.

“Those cutlets and that salmon were sent in yesterday,” I said. “I saw them on the side-board. I should prefer something hot today. If they won’t eat the cold (leftovers) in the kitchen, you had better throw the stuff away. So much waste goes on in this house anyway that a little more won’t make any difference.”

She stared at me. She did not say anything. I put the rose in the vase with the others.

Excellent shade, Narrator. Methinks you are moving from being Alice in Wonderland to becoming Joan of Arc.

Stay tuned.

The Sea, the Dog, the Cove: Rebecca, Ch. 10

We bent down, passing underneath, and when I stood straight again, brushing the raindrops from my hair, I saw that the valley was behind us, and the azaleas, and the trees, and, as Maxim had described to me that afternoon many weeks ago in Monte Carlo, we were standing on a little narrow cove, the shingle hard and white under our feet, and the sea was breaking on the shore beyond us.

Maxim smiled down at me, watching the bewilderment on my face.

“It’s a shock, isn’t it?” he said, “no one ever expects it. The contrast is too sudden, it almost hurts.” He picked up a stone and threw it across the beach for Jasper. “Fetch it, good man,” and Jasper streaked away in search of the stone, his long black ears flapping in the wind.

The enchantment was no more, the spell was broken. We were mortal again, two people playing on a beach.

« Older entries

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog