I give this book a big 5 Stars. It is the 2nd in a 12 book series by Winston Graham and has been made for the second time into a BBC One mini-series. (Seen in the US on PBS).I am in the middle of rereading all 12 books because I love the stories and characters. I even have a blog called Living Like Demelza I fell in love with her outlook and approach to life.
Demelza is the oldest of seven children, the only girl of a widower. Her father is a drunken mine worker who regularly beats her and keeps his family in the deepest level of poverty. She goes hungry, is filthy and must watch her six younger brothers. She first appears in the first book fighting for her dog at a local fair. Ross Poldark brings her home to become a kitchen maid and subsequently marries her.
This book focuses on Demelza and her first few years as Ross’s wife. Ross is a member of the gentry and Demelza a member of a much lower class. This causes her much distress as she tries to adjust from being an impoverished miner’s daughter to the wife of a member of the landed gentry. And the gentry are appalled that Ross would marry his kitchen maid. Ross still has passionate feelings for his first love, Elizabeth Poldark who married his cousin Francis and now the mother of their son, Geoffrey Charles.
As Ross tries to build his mine and smelting company. He takes Francis into his confidence with his plan. He battles against his enemy George Warleggan. George is the grandson of a blacksmith and through financial success has risen to the level of the gentry, but is never completely accepted which fuels his ruthless business practices. Ross and Demelza welcome their first child, a daughter Julia. Will Francis stay true to his wife? Will he be a man of honor and not betray Ross to George? Will Demelza’s love and devotion be enough or will Ross go to Elizabeth the woman he still loves? What happens when an epidemic of “morbid throat” (diphtheria) hits the Cornwall coast? Who will survive? Will Ross’s mining venture and Copper smelting company thrive?
Demelza has such an open heart and finds joy in the smallest of things. Just as my other blog says, I am working on having her attitude for living.