Demelza by Winston Graham #Review

Demelza by Winston Graham #ReviewDemelza by Winston Graham

Series: #2 Poldark
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on June 9, 2015
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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five-stars  

After reading the first book in the Poldark Saga, I was eager for more of the gritty, atmospheric world set along the Cornish coast in the late eighteen hundreds. The writing, tone, characters, dialogue and setting were of the finest I have read. I was not disappointed when I continued with the story in this second book of the series which really needs to be read in order.

As the title states clearly, this is Demelza’s book. She was a waif and an emerging woman in the first book, but this book shows her coming into her own through the trials of life as friend, lady of their lands, mother, and wife. She both errs and she grows, but her character does not alter.

In the beginning of the story, Demelza desires to show herself ready to be the lady of a gentleman so she uses little Julia’s christening as an opportunity to host a party. But ready to be lady or not, she still has her insecurities and it is up to Ross to reassure her:

“Nothing else matters, but you,” he said. “Remember that. All my relatives and friends- and Elizabeth, and this house and the mine…I’d throw them in the dust and you know it- and you know it. If you don’t know it, then all these months I’ve failed and no words I can give you now will make it otherwise. I love you, Demelza..”. p. 6 Ross from Demelza

Demelza wants to make those she loves happy so she meddles and schemes even behind Ross’ back. She learns that what she meant for good may have dire consequences even within her own marriage.

Ross has his own worries what with the situation of the copper industry, the Warleggan strangle-hold on the financial power in their area of Cornwall, and trouble within his own family and people. He must find a way to steer his way through it all. In the end, tragedies and joys come and it is Demelza’s sunny nature that soothes his dark Poldark one.

This truly is a saga of the Poldark family, but also that of the Cornish people at the time. The story moves along steadily accumulating plot threads and players on the scene surrounding the key players. It’s not hard to follow the story and very easy to become vested in the circumstances. I love that this historical is not about the upper classes, but the gentry and the working poor. Instead of their lives being bland; they are rich and emotions are engaged.

Ross and Demelza’s marriage and daily life are still center, but the dark clouds of low rates for the copper, tough times for their people, strained relations with their neighbors even family, and most of all, the rising conflict with the Warleggans make for continued page turning. Demelza’s activities strained things and I can see storm clouds brewing as a continued result of what she set in motion. My emotions were gripped. I was both saddened and gladdened by events of the story. I would add that this is romantic storytelling without being a romance.

The historical setting of Georgian era Cornwall continues to be a strength. The author waxes poetic a few times and nearly brought me to tears over a mine closure and later I was thrilled breathless by a shipwreck and a wrecker’s party on the beach. The writing includes strong nods to the distinction of classes and society with local speech employed for miners and workers that is amusing to work out at times.

All in all, the strength, depth, and richness of this story kept me reading on even when other claims on my time called to me. I loved getting lost in the Poldark world and I look forward to picking up the next book in the series. I heartily recommend this series to those who love historical fiction with drama.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #291 HR

Cliché Klatch #179 ‘take hold on that’

Historical Romance #81

Historical Fiction #27

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • The story just seems to crazy

  • Probably not the right book for me right now. Just not into these types of stories.

    • It is dramatic and sometimes more historical fiction and saga than romance. Probably a good call that its not going to have overall appeal. I was so in the mood for it. 😉

  • I am always glad that you mention whether a series can be read in order! It’s nice that there are historical romances that aren’t about the upper classes as well. Not sure if this would be a series for me, but I am happy you enjoyed this one so much! Great review!

    • You’re welcome! I try to include things that help people decide about a book. I’ve grabbed enough out of order that should have been read in order that I think its important to help others out.

      This sagas aren’t everyone’s thing and sometimes aren’t mine, but I do love them when I am in the mood. 😉