Jamaica Inn – yes we have reached J in the A to Z Challenge today. Ten days of blogging in April gone, sixteen to go. We have a break most Sundays, except the 30th this year falls on one, so we do Z then.

The plan for the month is to feature daily a book I’ve reviewed in the past (or review it that day), and also highlight others: not all are included each day.

  • review/featured
  • spacetime challenge (I host this reading challenge – you can join here)
  • middle grade (childrens) choice
  • series (love a good series – there’s a challenge for finishing those, too)
  • ‘notable’ reads
  • ‘outstanding’ books
  • my books!

Featured Book: Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier

Jamaica Inn

You’ll find my review a little unusual for my blog. No pictures, long paragraphs. It’s an early one, before I really settled to my blog format.

Rereading my review of Jamaica Inn is funny. I have much the same view now as I had when I reread the book. My first memories of it have stuck, and I remember fear and smuggling and excitement. And the moor. Bodmin Moor is definitely a character in this story, a big one. But having walked and orienteered on both Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, my reaction to DuMaurier’s description of the blasted heath was one of familiarity, rather than the threat it was intended to make. I think that must be part of my ambivalence in the review I did in 2015.

It is definitely a classic, even if it did tail off in the end … or have a wholly satisfactory ending, depending on your taste 🙂 Maybe worth rereading again, some time…

Spacetime Reading Challenge


Science fiction is light on books beginning with J worth talking about. I discovered Jaydium by Deborah Wheeler, and read it in 2020.

Jaydium is much like orichalcum is in my universe, but it enable faster-than-light travel, rather than instantaneous communications.  It’s still highly prized and only found in a few places.

At that point I was thinking… meh.

Then it all changed.  And then it changed again! I wondered how many changes we were in for, but the development of the later change and the attention to possibilities both sociological and temporal had me completely hooked.

From my Sept 20 review

I must search out more in this series!

Middle Grade Choice/Series

Jill’s Gymkhana (and follow-on Jill books) by Ruby Ferguson. Jill is a perfectly ordinary girl, for the late 1940s or thereabouts. She is pony mad. She lives in the country with her Mum, a single parent, but we never learn anything about the missing one. And Jill’s mother writes (types her books and articles on a real typewriter) and has deadlines, which means that Jill is often left to get on with things under her own steam. And there is only any money when she sells a story. Jill is not going to get a pony. But she does.

Which just goes to show that any ten year old girl in an average house on an average street in England could have a pony if she only worked hard enough, was lucky enough, and dreams came true. These are really good stories, and yes, I have read them recently! Apart from a bygone age, they still work well, but I’ve never reviewed them as such. The link is to a general post including thoughts on it.

Justice Jones series, by Elly Griffiths: unfortunately titled individually with ‘Justice Jones series’ behind them, starting with A Girl Called Justice, so hard to include in a J list individually! Griffiths sets her teen sleuth in the 1930s, at a school in the middle of nowhere (probably Romney Marsh way). The fifth will be out soon…. I dare say if Justice stays on for sixth form there’ll be seven books in all (lower and upper sixth is the norm)!

There is no shortage of books starting with J for Middle Grade readers. In a strange twist, Elly Griffiths puts Jill’s Gymkhana firmly into her archaeologist Ruth Dalloway’s reading pile in her last Ruth book. Which is why I got my copies out when did a selfie reading the Last Remains. And as I’m trying to avoid talking about the Last Remains for L, I’ll post the photo here!

Notable Books

The Janus Stone: The second in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. Norfolk crime thriller. See letter C for the Crossing Places (book 1)

The Jupiter Myth: the fourteenth in the Falco series by Lindsey Davis. Ancient Rome crime thriller. See letter F for Falco

That’s all for today, so come back tomorrow for more. I’m hoping to meet more people who like the same kinds of book, so feel free to recommend something you’ve read beginning with the letter of the day!

Jamaica Inn | #A2ZChallenge23

9 thoughts on “Jamaica Inn | #A2ZChallenge23

  • 12 April, 2023 at 7:29 am

    I loved Jamacia Inn! And was so excited when I visited that part of the UK as it all came to life for me.

    • 12 April, 2023 at 7:30 am

      It’s definitely created a brilliant sensation of Bodmin Moor. Settings as characters indeed!

  • 12 April, 2023 at 8:45 am

    I do enjoy Daphne du Maurier and had a similar experience with Rebecca. I react to it differently every time. I think it depends on my on emotional state (and on my age) when I read it. Impossibly romantic in my teens, dull and flat in my 20s. I’ve reread it a couple of times since and come feel something in between, though interpreting the sexual politics very differently.

    • 12 April, 2023 at 11:11 am

      Ah, I think you pinpointed it there. Du Maurier was a genius to write such a great book for readers at incredibly different age-experiences!

  • 12 April, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Whew! More enticing books! I think I read Jamaica Inn and long time ago, but I ay have to go back and re-read.

  • 12 April, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t heard of Jamaica Inn. Will add it to my TBR list.

    I love your approach to the A-Z challenge this year. Books! Yay!

  • 13 April, 2023 at 3:09 am

    I will have to get Jaydium for my hubby. He is always looking for good sci-fi.

  • 13 April, 2023 at 5:58 am

    Great selection, loved the variety of books! They’re all new to me actually 🙂


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