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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Seething with disdain for the superfluous society in which she resides, Lady Dona St Columb abandons her husband and takes her two children away from the Court of Charles II, seeking a new life in the Cornish countryside.

Dona's thirst for authentic human interaction and adventure is satiated upon arrival as she meets the enigmatic and entrancing French pirate, Jean Benout Aubery. Previously a wealthy landowner, Aubery reveals that much like Dona, he too left his old life behind in search of greater things. Described by Daphne du Maurier as the only romantic story she ever wrote, Frenchman's Creek is an escapist tale of a woman's search for swashbuckling adventure despite the responsibilities which tie her down and threaten to contain her.

Women's freedom, a recurring theme in du Maurier's work, is prevalent in Frenchman's Creek and the story is said to have been written at a time when Daphne was eager to escape from the threat of war in 1941. A true tale of escapism, this audiobook delivers a powerful message about motherhood, romance and duty, and is continually propelled forward by the author's incredible skill and imagination.

Narrator Biography

John Castle is a classically trained English actor and graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Best known for his performances in I, Claudius, The Lion in Winter, Man of La Mancha, Blow-Up and RoboCop 3, he has acted alongside the likes of Peter O'Toole, Vanessa Redgrave and Dame Peggy Ashcroft.

A celebrated stage performer, he's starred in the Royal Shakespeare Company's revival of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, The Royal National Theatre's Hamlet and The English Shakespeare Company's War of the Roses. John is also no stranger to the small screen and can be seen more recently in Casualty, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Spooks, Midsomer Murders and The Tractate Middoth.

For more of John Castle's audiobook narrations, listen to William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair.

©1941 Daphne du Maurier; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Tara
  • Stillwater, Mongolia
  • 05-05-10

Spellbinding...I loved every moment!

I've loved this book for years (so I may not be impartial!) A cross between a Historical romance and an introspective novel, Frenchman's Creek is set during the English Restoration period. The story line has a dreamy quality to it that was enhanced by the narration.

The quick gist of the book: Lady Dona, married with 2 children, but dissatisfied, frustrated, and unhappy with herself and her life, leaves London for rural Devon. Intending to take the time to re-evaluate her life and its purpose, she is unaware that her estate has been the hideout of a notorious French pirate, Jean Benoit Aubrey. Inevitably, the two meet, and have a profound impact on one another. Frenchman's creek is a refuge for both Dona and her pirate, but for different reasons. Ultimately, it comes to symbolize peace and self respect for Lady Dona.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Starts slow, finishes good!

I am a big fan of Daphne Du Maurier. I was disappointed at the beginning and well into it for 2 of the 8+ hours as it was slow and like a romance novel anyone could have written. However, I stuck with it and it was worth it. It picks up in the middle and becomes more intrigue and surprise that Du Maurier is known for. Good Du Maurier book. Excellent Narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 02-07-13

Silly bodice ripper of a story but great narration

Would you try another book from Daphne du Maurier and/or John Castle?

I would not purchase another book by du Maurier. BUT, if John Castle is available, he should be engaged to narrate more (and better) books.

What do you think your next listen will be?

V. Woolf - The Voyage Out

What does John Castle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a wonderful job. I don't think I would have listened to the entire book if anyone else was the narrator. As was the case re. his narration of Vanity Fair, the level of drama, the accents of various characters, etc. - all perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Like a Dream!

This is one of my favorite books. I am not a romance novel lover by nature but this is one that many would enjoy. The reader does an excellent job drawing you into the story. You find yourself lost on an estate hidden from the world with the lovely Lady Donna and the mysterious French Pirate that "vacations" on her land. If you would like to have a good read that will carry you away on an adventure and make you think in the end this is the book for you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A captivating story! A splendid narration.

A story that speaks to the heart. The narrator was brilliant, breathing life into the characters. Will undoubtedly reread again. Makes me want to rent a cottage in Cornwall right by the sea just to hear the seagulls cry and watch the tide roll out.

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Better than Expected!

The narration was wonderful and suited to the writing. The writing was so much more lyrical than I expected and made me want to hear every word. I will listen to this again. The story/plot is not complicated or complex but the writing makes you want to keep listening and the ending is not what I expected. Both du Maurier fans and romance readers will love this book.

  • Overall
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Enchanted

Would you listen to Frenchman's Creek again? Why?

Yes, yes, yes. Castle's voice was melodic, perfectly timed with just the right inflections. Best reading of any book I have listened to. I knew when I heard his voice that I would love the book. <br/><br/>And the story is about finding life - a magnificent love story.

Which character – as performed by John Castle – was your favorite?

Both Donna, the heroine and the Frenchman. He captured her aloofness and reserve as well as her abandon. The accent of the Frenchman was superb.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes and I almost did. I listened to it in the car, at the YMCA working out, in the kitchen cooking dinner, and in bed before turning out the lights just so that I could finish it. It was lovely.

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Far from the best from Du Maurier

If you’ve listened to books by Daphne du Maurier before, how does this one compare?

After reading Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, and several short stories, I have become a big fan. Maybe I expected too much, but this book seems to fall short of her other works. Great narration, though.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Anne
  • 05-25-11

A pure delight

The most delightful love story. Beautifully written, in typical Du Maurier style. Searching for this book on line eventually brought me to 'Audible", as although i knew "Frenchman's Creek" existed in this format, unabridged and read by John Castle, it seemed impossible to buy. Now i am quietly working my way through the Audible Du Maurier library. Frenchman's Creek is one of Du Maurier's shorter novels, and leaves the reader/listener longing for more, but there really is not one word too few or too many. It will make you want to visit Cornwall at the next possible opportunity, as is the case in many of her novels. This one, however, has charm, romance, and a little bit of comedy, all wrapped up in the same short book. If you have never read anything by Daphne du Maurier, i suggest you start with this. You will definitely look for more.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • C
  • 03-05-11

So excited that this is on audio

I waited a long time for this particular Daphne Du Maurier. You can almost taste the salt in the air, and hear the birds calling. Well written, well narrated and wonderfully evocative, a true love story. A must for any lover of well written books.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Al
  • 05-13-15

The nearest I will get to time travel

Daphne du Maurier writes beautifully, about Cornwall, about people and about the past. But what a revelation the narrator, John Castle, was. I can't imagine a finer narrator. His voice changed so subtly to portray the different characters very vividly. I listened to this book as though it were a film playing in my head. I could see them all. The pace was excellent, and it unusually had larger gaps of silence between chapters, which I really liked. The story is so beautiful, I highly recommend this download. It was a joy from start to finish. If only John Castle had narrated more du Maurier....or more anything.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrea Zuvich
  • 04-28-15

Escape into a world of adventure and romance...

Would you listen to Frenchman's Creek again? Why?

Yes, yes, and yes. 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. <br/><br/>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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Frenchman's Creek?

Every scene in which Dona was with Aubery. Wow.

What about John Castle’s performance did you like?

As for me, I hope John Castle has recorded a lot more because he was absolutely PHENOMENAL in his reading - every single character came to life so perfectly. The man is superb.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I could only manage to listen to it in chunks - so that took a week. I wanted to listen to it straight through!

Any additional comments?

If you love historical fiction set in the 17th-century (or in any time period), adventure and romance - don't miss this book!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cat
  • 02-01-12

Unputdownable

I found myself making excuses to walk for longer than needed just to spend more time listening to this. Wonderful book, du Maurier really is an under-rated author who deserves much acclaim.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. C. E. Davies
  • 06-18-13

Heartbreaking romance

This slim book is Daphne du Maurier writing in glorious romantic style with an undercurrent of real sadness. She weaves in her own ambiguity about being female, the nature of love and the role of a mother, all of which profoundly affect the mood and plot.
I have always read the book hoping for a change in the ending but, after listening, I now know why it had to be.
John Castle's voice is a delicious as the romance. I imagined the narrator would be a woman but his narration is the perfect choice and he wrings the essence out of this story. A shame it is so brief because I didn't want it to end - the reason it only has four stars!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol Webster
  • 03-02-15

first read at school nearly fifty years ago!

It has not diminished in the intervening years. a powerful love story highly recommend! Wonderfully performed, evocative of Cornwall

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • tonyridgway
  • 02-26-15

Very good read.

Entertaining novel much enhanced by excellent narration.Having already
read the book I found the audio version much more interesting,it really brings the characters to life but I think much of this is due to brilliance of the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jinty
  • 11-03-16

THE SWASHBUCKELING PIRATE...

If you could sum up Frenchman's Creek in three words, what would they be?

EXCITING..THRILLING...FAB !!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Frenchman's Creek?

YES .. AND THEY WERE SO DELIGHTFULL BUT CANT GIVE THEM AWAY..YOU MUST LISTEN ..

Have you listened to any of John Castle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

NO ! NOT YET ..

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

INDEED IT DID AND IT WAS WONDERFUL..

Any additional comments?

I AM NEW TO D,D.M. THIS IS MY THIRD BOOK AND I ENJOYING THE EXPERIENCE AND WONDER OF HER WRITING GIFT. I FEEL AS IF I AM IN THE STORY ..ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I RECOMEND HER BOOK,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 10-14-16

My favourite du Maurier

Already a favourite of mine this story was made even more enjoyable by a superb narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Denise
  • 06-17-16

Frenchmans Creek brought to life.

Beautifully narrated. John C brought this incredibly poignant story to life; a performance rather than a narration. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paddington
  • 09-29-17

One of Du Maurier’s best

Loved this story. Having just come back from holidaying around Cornwall and visiting sea ports including Fowey this adventure was extra intreging. A beautifully written novel with wonderful characters and a sensitive romance. Typical of du Maurier an ending that makes you guess but leans towards one path.