Demelza by Winston Graham
I thoroughly enjoyed Demelza the second Poldark novel far more than it’s predecessor. I read Ross Poldark just before Christmas and was not its biggest fan. I found the writing very simple and the plot wasn’t enough to keep me hooked.
However Demelza had more substance and more going on. It begins with Demelza Poldark going into labour and giving birth to Julia, hers and Ross’s first child together.
The rest of the book centres on Demelza’s plan to get Captain Blamey and Verity back together. In the previous book the pair were very much in love but because of rumours that he killed his wife and child Verity’s family forbid the union. As Demelza and Verity’s friendship has blossomed the former can see that her cousin by marriage is still very much in love with the Captain. Demelza goes against her husband and his family’s wishes and visits Captain Blamey with the hope he still feels the same about his lost love.
After acting as a go between for the pair, Verity runs away to marry Captain Blamey. The Poldark family, especially Francis, cannot believe that Demelza could be so deceitful as to go against her family’s wishes but all is forgiven when an illness sweeps through Francis’ home and Demelza nurses the family back to health to the cost of her own health and Julia’s. The book ends with Demelza contracting the illness as well as baby Julia. Sadly, little Julia does not make it.
We see Demelza develop as a character, she has gone from a common maid to a respected and well liked member of the high social circles. While she makes mistakes which are costly she has other’s best interests at heart and it is clear to see that Ross is now deeply in love with her.
The sub plot in the novel involves Ross’s friend Mark’s infatuation with a travelling actress named Karen. The pair are mis suited from the off. Mark is a miner and enjoys the simple things in life while Karen dreams of being whisked off her feet and treated like a queen. While Mark loves her dearly and even builds a house for her, the love and attention he gives her is not enough and she falls in the arms of Doctor Enys. When Mark discovers the affair he becomes so enraged that he accidently kills her. Consequently he has to run off to France to escape prosecution.
I for one cannot wait for the new series of Poldark which is coming in the autumn. There continues to be so much hype about the series in Cornwall and it’s hard not to get swept up in the obsession of it all.
Here’s a link to my review of Ross Poldark, the first Poldark novel: https://sweetsdelights.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/ross-poldark-by-winston-graham/