Saturday, 4 September 2010

Hungry Hill

Underrated and nearly forgotten, perhaps with the exception of English Literature students, many of Daphne Du Maurier's works are gathering dust. As it happened by coincidence on a holiday in Glengariff in West Cork, my husband mentioned he had seen a Daphne Du Maurier in quite a lot of the local shops, even the grocery stores. I hadn't heard of Du Maurier's Hungry Hill, so I bought it and read it. She rises to the occasion, and is able to give a credible interpretation of the tensions between the dispossessed Anglo-Irish, dispossessed for they are neither one thing or the other; and the dispossessed Irish, the locals who see their land used to line the pockets of the Anglo-Irish landowners.Du Mauier's work, apart from being a gripping tale and worthy of being tuned into a TV costume drama, illustrates her perceptiveness of human nature and her ability to tell us what's going on inside her characters heads credibly and sympathetically. Its a classic as far as I am concerned, as it could even today give us insights into how some young men's brains work; this from a woman who was written off as a light weight romantic novelist. Her only fault in the book was to barely mention the Irish Famine.;

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