We open the story with Mary Yellan making a journey in dreary weather to the Jamaica Inn, which just the name of incites fear in the surrounding area. Mary would have never chosen this life for herself but it was her mother's dying wish that Mary move off the farm and in with her Aunt Patience. Upon arriving at her new residence she notices her Aunt is not as happy and beautiful as she remembered. Rather Aunt Patience is ragged and cowers in fear of her husband, Joss Merlyn. What exactly is Aunt Patience afraid of and what are the secrets behind the mysterious Jamaica Inn.
I quite enjoyed the book though at times it seemed terribly slow. The characters all had distinct personalities which Du Maurier did a wonderful job of displaying throughout the book. While not exactly a scary story it holds your interest as you try to figure out just what is going on at the inn. My only complaints were the slowness in parts of the book and that the twist wasn't exactly surprising. Though there being a surprise isn't a requirement when a book is written as well as this was.