Review 1520: I’ll Never Be Young Again

Richard is a young man who has always felt his famous poet father disdained him. He is about to throw himself into the Thames when he is stopped by an older man named Jake. With Jake, he sets out as a common seaman on a Norwegian barque.

Richard is a very changeable, touchy, and selfish young man, but Jake says he will be all right, he’s just young. The pair go off traveling among the fjords and see Stockholm, with Richard changing how he feels about their experiences almost minute by minute. Ultimately, an accident sends Richard on alone to Paris, where he begins writing and meets a girl, Hesta.

I thought I had read just about everything by du Maurier, but I hadn’t come across this novel before. It is her second, and it certainly shows immaturity. Although du Maurier is good at description, this novel depends upon it too much, so that it is slow moving. In addition, the dialogue is quite crude. Du Maurier believed she had a male side that eventually led to an ability to write effectively from a male point of view, but I don’t think she’s quite there yet. She overdoes it.

Finally, Richard is so self-centered that its hard to find any sympathy for him, which made it difficult for me to finish the book. When he meets Hesta, for example, she is an independent young woman studying music. He manages to strip everything away from her so that she is totally dependent upon him. Then he takes her for granted.

So, I didn’t really enjoy this novel, although the ending lessened my dislike of it. I have to say, though, that Richard as a character is all too believable.

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5 thoughts on “Review 1520: I’ll Never Be Young Again

  1. piningforthewest June 18, 2020 / 4:50 pm

    I ended up quite enjoying this one, I’m horrified to see that I read it way back in 2010. Considering it’s an early book it’s good but needed editing in the middle – according to my thoughts from then. Yes Dick as a man is all to believable.

  2. Lisbeth Ekelöf June 20, 2020 / 6:41 am

    Thank you for this review. I have never heard of this book either. I like DdM and have decided to read all her books. I must say though, considering the books I have read, her characters are not always likable. Maybe that is why her books hold a certain interest.

    • whatmeread June 20, 2020 / 10:03 am

      That’s very true, but most of them aren’t crude, which this character is at times.

  3. Cynthia June 22, 2020 / 12:36 pm

    A friend recently gave me a copy of Rule Britania. Have you read that one?

    • whatmeread June 22, 2020 / 4:01 pm

      If I did, it was a long time ago. I think I probably did, but I can’t remember what it’s about.

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