A book which I had never heard of before. First published in 1932 it has a slightly old fashioned feel to it as well. We have Dick - young, impetuous and the son of a very famous writer. The father seems cold and indifferent and very distant. Mother follows father's instructions and Dick is always left out in the cold. He longs for recognition and affection but does not get it from his parents. After a falling out, he leaves home and stays away from home for years. Dick when he leaves home is desperate and wants to end it all, but at the back of his mind is always the hope that some good Samaritan will come along and save him in the nick of time.
This does happen and Jake becomes the pivot of Dick's life. The story continues with adventures on the high seas, adventures in Scandinavia ending with a tragedy and then his meeting a young American woman and life changes once more. This is not a happily ever after story anyway.
The story portrays Dick as selfish and self centred. Reading the novel one does not have any sympathy for the young man and in fact one can become a bit self righteous saying "serves him right"! At the beginning of the story you can always put it down to the workings of an unmatured youngster but as the story unravels you realize you are dealing with a totally selfish man.
I've read a host of Du Maurier and found this totally strange. Strange and different.