Warleggan Book Review

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.


Demelza Book Review

Life, like marriage is hard work. Some days are good, some days are bad and others we hope are in between.

Demelza, A Novel Of Cornwall, by Winston Graham, is the second book in the Poldark series.

In this book, Demelza is no longer the teenaged house maid of Ross Poldark, the protagonist of the series. Demelza is now married to Ross, a first time mother and a member of the upper classes. But her life is not all sunshine and happily ever after. While Ross struggles to keep his mines open and support the communities that work in the mines, George Warleggan does everything in his power to stop Ross.  While adapting to her new family and her new role in society, Demelza becomes close with Verity, Ross’s unmarried cousin who is still nursing a broken heart for the man her brother and father rejected years earlier.

Will Demelza find peace and her place in this world? Or will this miner’s daughter always be a miners daughter?

After reading books 1 & 3 and watching the recent PBS miniseries, I was eager to read the books. I was not disappointed. In contrast to what was expected of a “lady” of the era, Demelza is smart, capable and true to her roots.

I recommend it.

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