Sequels, whether on stage, on-screen or on the page, are like walking a fine line. The sequel must remain true to the original text while moving the narrative and the characters forward.
Some sequels are better than others.
The 4th book in the Poldark series, Warleggan, takes place a year after the birth of Ross and Demelza’s son Jeremy. Life has returned to normal for Mr. and Mrs. Poldark of Nampara. Or so they think.
First there is the risk of a highly speculative mining venture that could ruin Ross and Demelza financially. This leads an emotional fissure in their marriage. Then Ross re-ignites what was thought to be the dormant feeling for his ex/cousin by marriage, Elizabeth. Feeling emotionally left behind by her husband, Demelza begins a flirtation with Captain MacNeil, a handsome Scottish cavalry officer. Will Ross and Demelza find their center and each other once more or are they doomed to live separate lives?
I was excited by this book, I wanted to see how Winston Graham could shake up the happily ever that the reader was left with at the end of the third book. My problem was that I felt that he ventured too far from the main characters. If the emphasis of the overall arc of series is Ross and by extension, his wife and son, I found that Ross was away from his family for far too long for my liking. While the author spend about half of the novel with secondary characters, both new and familiar, I would have preferred to focus a little closer to home.
Do I recommend it? I’m leaning toward no.