When Ross Poldark plunges into a highly speculative mining venture, he risks not only his family’s financial security but also his already turbulent marriage. When his old flame, Elizabeth, reenters his life, Ross is tested like never before. But soon his wife, Demelza, retaliates, becoming dangerously involved with a handsome Scottish cavalry officer of her own.
With the looming threat of bankruptcy and scandal, the Poldarks now face the possibility of disaster on all fronts. Will they be able to keep it together before everything falls apart?
A tale of romance, revenge, and risk, Warleggan brings you characters and rivalries you won’t soon forget.
Warleggan (The Poldark Saga #4) by Winston Graham
Format: audiobook; 14 hours 19 minutes
Also By This Author: Ross Poldark (The Poldark Saga #1), Demelza (The Poldark Saga #3), Jeremy Poldark (The Poldark Saga #3), Cordelia
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Honestly, I was dreading reading this volume of the Poldark Saga. If you watch the BBC/Masterpiece show, you’ll understand why. Without giving away too many spoilers, Ross does something unforgivable, and it threatens to destroy his entire family. Fortunately, I watched Season 2 before reading Jeremy Poldark and Waleggan (the two books Season 2 is based on), so I was prepared, and although it was a really difficult section of the book to read, the ending was very sweet and made up for it (mostly).
Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying Warleggan more than its predecessor. It felt like so much more happened in this novel than in Jeremy Poldark, and near the end I was more into the book than I originally anticipated.
Season 2 of Poldark is still rather fresh in my mind since I recently rewatched the last few episodes before Season 3 premiered, so I was doing a lot of comparing and contrasting between the novel and it’s on-screen adaptation. In my opinion, the tv show handles Ross’s infidelity and the other characters’ reactions to it in a much more realistic and forgiving light. In the book, it feels like Ross pretty much has his way and the female characters involved simply submit to his will and desires. I was very disappointed with how almost passive Demelza was in the book. She’s one of the fiercest literary characters I know of, and I felt that her reaction in the tv show was more realistic. I think this may be the part of the series where TV Demelza branches off from Book Demelza. I think this can probably be attributed to the fact that the show’s writer is a woman ;)
For the most part, I really enjoyed this narration of Warleggan. The narrator, Oliver Hembrough, has an entertaining voice that is easy to listen to. The only letdown for me was that his voice for most of the ladies, Demelza especially, was pitiful. Demelza is fierce, yet the narrator depicted her in a moping way that I was not a fan of. I can understand Elizabeth sounding that way, but not passionate Demelza.
The ending of Warleggan was very touching, and there are several reconciliations that will pull at your heartstrings. I’m very tempted to pick up the next book before this season is even over, but at the same time I don’t want to spoil anything! I enjoy watching the show and then reading the books afterwards.
Just for fun, and because it doesn’t actually happen in the novel, here’s my favorite scene from Season 2 of Poldark: