Ross Poldark by Winston Graham #Review #Giveaway

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham #Review #GiveawayRoss Poldark by Winston Graham

Series: #1 Poldark
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on June 9, 2015
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars  

In the enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series, Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s chance at happiness?

Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.

With the build up of excitement about the latest TV adaption’s release on Masterpiece Theater, I was ecstatic when the opportunity came to read the books on which the Poldark series is based. My anticipation was high and I was not to be disappointed. I was pulled in to experience the author’s 18th Cornwall right alongside his captivating characters in the sweeping saga that begins in this book. Atmospheric, authentic, gritty, and hopeful against a backdrop of trouble times, smoldering family situations, love lost, and love found. Ross Poldark was a hero worthy of the name.

The story opens with Ross returning home from war after his father’s death. He plans to marry his sweet Elizabeth and settle into farming his lands. Instead he is confronted with a home that is neglected, finances in precarious position, and a sweetheart that has forsaken him for his fair cousin. Ross is a dark Poldark and takes all this hard even though he goes about with equanimity. He sinks himself in restoring the land and his home even as he is forced to watch from afar Frances and Elizabeth as they happily have everything so easy.

Ross was influenced by the democratic beliefs he saw in America during the war and his blurring the lines between the classes makes him a friend of the workers, but suspect with the local gentry of his own class. His shocking rescue of a young girl who was living in an abusive home and raising Demelza up as a friend really sets the cat among the pigeons. Demelza brings stability to Ross’ home and she is loyal when he ventures into reopening mining works on his land, bringing in a good harvest, and navigating the uneasy waters with his other Poldark relations. Under the eyes of gossips, naysayers, and those who would wish the outspoken, passionate Poldark ill, Ross does what he thinks is right and in the doing might find his own way back to happy with Demelza and his ventures.

I started reading this story and it captivated me from the beginning. The situation that Ross returned home to was dire and heartbreaking. He left as a wild young man and came home much the wiser with plans that were simple, but happy only to find his home and lands in ruin and his fickle lady love now in love with his cousin. Ross was close to his cousin and his cousin comes from the more prosperous branch of the family so the blow of losing Elizabeth was even harder. I got frustrated really fast with his relations and Elizabeth who expected him just to accept this the second he was blindsided with the news, and then later be forced to accept their excuses and show up the wedding as if it wasn’t a knife to the heart. I was proud of him when he lost it with his cousin and put a stop to it.

“Where is this?” said Ross. “It must be the one beside the track to Reen Wollas-“
“Or at the edge of the sand hills. Look, Ross, I wished to explain. When I first met Elizabeth this spring past, there was no thought in my head of coming between her and you. It was like a stroke from the blue. Both she and I-“
Ross turned, his face high-strung and dangerous. “In the Devil’s Name, isn’t it enough to-“
Such was his expression that Frances stepped back upon the wooden bridge crossing the shaft.
p. 54-55 Ross from Ross Poldark

The story is narrated by several characters, but sticks mostly to Ross’ storyline. It is Ross’ personal journey and the others have strong roles and side stories going on. He is so original to his place and time that he stands out against all the others who are going through their life staying right in line with expectation. He is colorful and larger than life though he doesn’t see himself as such. I was enchanted by the woman that comes along and slowly gains his attention, respect, and love. She is his equal when it comes to personality and character. They shocked the neighborhood by daring to cross the class lines and make a real go of it.

She was quite silent. He had never done before what he had done that night. He had never kissed her before except in passion. It was something different. She knew him to be closer to her than he had ever been before…I am happy he thought again. p. 298-299 Ross and Demelza from Ross Poldark

The historical backdrop was equally fascinating as it told the story of this Cornish mining community and 18th century rural Cornish society. The descriptions and situation was blended in so that it read neatly as part of the story.

There was a cast of colorful characters and entertaining dialogue to describe and explain so that it was never boring. In fact, the dialogue particularly involving those of the poorer class can be a ticklish challenge to work out, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it easily. There is also a trick of Ross’ when he doesn’t wish to talk about something that he talks on a totally different subject while the other person is talking to him in a back and forth dialogue. It was hilarious. Ross’ servants were another source of amusement as they are rascally and try to get away with doing as little as possible and drinking enough gin to stun a plow horse.

The pacing was gentle and the story built slowly and steadily. This is a saga and the author took the time to establish the foundation of the series with this book. I like how the author tied things up to give a satisfying ending, but also left things in a good place for what is to come.

I loved this moving, atmospheric beginning to Ross and Demelza’s story and would recommend it to those who love Historical Fiction or slow building Historical Romance set in the Georgian era in Cornwall.

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

GIVEAWAY

Ross Poldark Blog Tour Prize Package x 500Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the re-release of Ross Poldark and Demelza, Sourcebooks Landmark is offering three chances to win copies of the books or a grand prize, an Anglophile-themed gift package.

Two lucky winners will each receive one trade paperback copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, and one grand prize winner will receive a prize package containing the following items:

(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers

(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothersr

(1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea

(1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade

(1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits

(2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee’s Garden Heirloom (1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham

To enter the giveaway contest simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses. Good luck to all!

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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.
  • Facebook User

    I think the actor choices are so much better in the new series.
    Ann

    • I haven’t had a chance to see the new series. I wanted to read the books first, but I look forward to seeing if they got it right.

  • Caryl Kane

    Great review! I am enjoying the Poldark series! I would LOVE to read the books. Thank you for participating in the blog tour.

    • Hey, thanks, Caryl! Glad the series is good. I look forward to seeing it.

  • denise226

    I love the new version of the series better then the 1970 one i love the actors in this . denise smith

    • I can’t wait to compare since I’ve only seen the older one.

  • I really love the Georgian Era. I am interested in watching the show. I will have to read this book before I watch the show. I do enjoy stories like this one. Lovely review.

    • That’s what I’m doing, too, Renee. I have book two to read and then I’ll watch the series.

  • Carol Luciano

    GI love the series and would love to read the books. Thank you for you review.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • I’m glad the series is a hit. I look forward to seeing it.

  • Great thoughts! The new TV series has sucked me in and has convinced me I need to read the books too. So thankful to have discovered these stories!

    • Ooh, cool, Elizabeth! Glad its that riveting. You’ll probably really enjoy the books.

  • Susan M. Heim

    Thanks for your thoughtful review of the book. I’m really anxious to read it (and the whole series) after I finish viewing the TV series.

    • Thanks, Susan! I was riveted reading this story so hope you love it when you get the chance.

  • Thanks for the great review. I hadn’t heard of this book or author before but I like the sounds of the story.

    • Oh yeah, you’re welcome, Mary! I saw a few episodes of the old 1970’s version on PBS, but never read the books so I was eager to. I was glad to finally read the first one and I have the second book, too.

  • Paula Caballero

    Terrific review! Loved the first two novels and really loving the new TV adaptation! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    • You are super welcome, Paula. I still need to read book two and then I want to watch the TV adaption.

  • Let

    Really great review! I liked your choice of excerpts. 🙂 I’m already behind on the TV series, was surprised to learn there’s an older version, and I’m REALLY excited to read the books! I can’t believe it took Masterpiece to introduce me to Mr. Poldark!

    • Masterpiece Theater has introduced me to many treasures that I wouldn’t have found on my own, too. Thanks for stopping by, Let!

  • rfin

    Thanks for the giveaway! I had never heard of the 70s series, and I am enjoying watching the current one!

    • Let

      Oh so it was made in the 70s! Cool!

    • It has the feel of seventies British historical drama, but I thought it was good stuff at the time. 🙂

  • Emily Hehn

    This is a nice synopsis of the 2 books without giving away too many spoilers. I haven’t read Demelza or Poldark yet but have been enjoying the series on PBS. Thank you for participating in the blog tour. I love reading all the different blogs on such a beloved story and have yet to read a bad review of all the blogs so far. I would love to win the giveaway so I can read the first 2 books of this saga.

    • Thanks, Emily! I do work hard to show my interest and thoughts on a book without giving away the good stuff.

  • Wonderful review. We are Masterpiece junkies and now you have me drooling to read this. I am so delighted it was well done, and that the multiple povs worked.

    • Masterpiece is a staple at our house, too. I really enjoyed getting a chance to read the book finally.

  • Cali Willette

    Great review. I love the shows on masterpiece classic. 😉
    caliwillette(at)gmail(dot)com

  • KV

    I enjoy the TV series & can’t wait to read the books.

    • I have a feeling they will be just as good, KV!

  • BeckyC

    Thank you for being a stop in the blog tour. Great post. I am loving this series and am looking forward to reading the books.

  • I’m so eager to read Ross’s backstory that it’s been hard keeping myself from buying the books. I want to know what happened to him before he returned from war. In the meantime, I’m loving the series. The back-and-forth evasive technique he uses in conversation sounds fun. Ack! I want to read them NOW! 🙂

    • He was hilarious, Nancy. Hope you enjoy the books when you get the chance.

  • I am eagerly anticipating reading this series and watching the series in its entirety. Thank you for such an enticing review.

    • Always willing to tempt folks into reading good books, Deborah! 🙂

  • Pingback: Ross Poldark Blog Tour Starts Today | Poldarkian()

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  • Laurie

    this show has me totally hooked so im dying to read the books! This is a great giveaway opportunity, thanks for posting!

    • You’re so welcome, Laurie! I can’t wait to be hooked by the show, too.

  • Maureen Massey

    Hi Sophia, I love the Poldark series. Who doesn’t love Captain Poldark and his ladies? Would love the chance to read the books too.

    • Howdy, Maureen! Thanks for stopping by and sharing some Poldark love.

  • Jennifer Essad

    my daughter & I love Sunday nights watching PBS, this show is amazing and we look forward to next season-it can’t come soon enough!

    • That is great news. I can’t wait to watch it, Jennifer.