Frenchman's Creek

Frenchman’s Creek

I am a big fan of Daphne du Maurier (see my blogs on Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel), so in anticipation of my upcoming trips to Devon and Cornwall this summer, in early June I treated myself to reading Frenchman’s Creek, set on the Helford River and in Fowey in Cornwall, both of which I have walked through on the coastal path.

I’d originally been put off reading this when I heard it was about pirates, but the reality was not at all what I had expected. Lady Dona St Columb is bored of her husband and her empty life in London, and on a whim tears down to Cornwall with her children and their nurse, to stay in her husband’s ancestral home without him. She passes a blissful few weeks playing with the children in the grass and in the woods until one night she spots a ship silently making it’s way up the creek. Heading down through the woods to the water to discover where and what the ship is, she is briefly taking captive by the French captain, before they both quickly realise that she is not staying against her will.

A relationship starts between them, as she pretends to the county to know nothing about the pirate working his way up and down the south Cornish coast in dastardly raids, and her sense of adventure soon means she is soon caught up in a trip by night to steal another ship in Fowey harbour. Escaping with her life and exhilarated by the experience, Dona realises she cannot live without her pirate. But this is just the moment that her husband and his oldest friend turn up.

Can Dona keep her secret, save her lover and her life? You’ll be staying up too late and page turning until you find out.