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The Loving Spirit. (Anglais) Broché – 4 mars 2004
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality (Guardian)
No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do (Margaret Forster)
Daphne du Maurier's lushly written novel . . . is a rapturous celebration of the beauties of the Cornish landscape (Michele Roberts)
Miss du Maurier creates on the grand scale ... a rich vein of humour and satire, observation, sympathy, courage, a sense of the romantic are here (OBSERVER)
Présentation de l'éditeur
Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom. But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family.
Janet's loving spirit - the passionate yearning for adventure and for love - is passed down to her son, and through him to his children's children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain. Her debut novel, The Loving Spirit established du Maurier's reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.
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Janet Coombe seems to be the fictionalized version of Daphne du Maurier. In various autobiographies, Du Maurier often said that she wished she had been born a boy, that she'd always been a tomboy and that she lived her fantasies through her male narrators in various novels. This is her first novel, and probably her most autobiographical effort. The Loving Spirit has a wonderful beginning. It kept me turning the pages because the writing is lyrical and sublime, and it engaged me with little effort. It does get a bit tedious somewhere in the middle, and it took me a while to read it at that point. It does, however, pick up when Jennifer's story comes in. It is, in fact, the best part of the novel and I couldn't put it down. Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite novelists. She wrote a little bit of everything, took risks that paid off. This is a wonderful look at her writing during its beginner state. I have to say this debut is better than most books written by today's experienced authors. And that speaks volumes about today's commercial fiction.
Although you know I'm not going to tell if that's from the beginning of the book or the end. This first novel of Du Maurier's tells the story of four generations of the Coombe family of Plyn, Cornwall beginning in the early 1800's as young bride Janet Coombe, happy as she is with her children and husband, always longs for the freedom of the sea. Her son Joseph follows his mother's dreams and sets sail in the merchant ship built by the Coombe family and named after his mother - as is her image the figurehead at the prow of the ship. Joseph eventually marries, but his real love is always the sea and when he can no longer sail he takes his bitterness out on his family, which eventually leads to dire changes in their lives.
Joseph's son Christopher, realizing he is not cut out for the sailing life, abandons ship in London and ekes out a living there and marries his landlady's daughter Bertha Parkins. Finally tiring of London life, they return to Plyn in hopes of reuniting with his estranged family and find work in the family's shipbuilding business - although his uncle Phillip's grudge against Joseph continues unabated against his son and forces the grief stricken family to return to London. The book culminates with the story of Christopher's daughter Jennifer as her restless spirit brings her back to Plyn to a chance meeting with a long-lost cousin at the wreck of the Janet Coombe, as well as a show down with her great-uncle Phillip over the damage his hatred has wreaked on the Coombe family.
Throughout the book, the loving spirit of Janet Coombe seems to guide her family through the best and worst times of their lives. As a first book it is certainly good, but far from what readers of her later classics might expect, and a bit slow paced for the most part except the last 50 or so pages - she had me biting my nails for a while there. While I do enjoy family sagas continuing over multiple generations, this one is far from the best either, a bit too short and not as well developed as I like them. I'd recommend this one for fans of Du Maurier wanting to get a look at her first book, but I doubt there's enough here to hold the interest of a more casual reader. 3/5 stars.
I LOVED it once again.