This is the 3rd book of 12 in the Poldark Saga. We join Ross and Demelza after the loss of their daughter Julia and they are awaiting Ross’ trial.
This is not a cheery read, but one that moves slowly. I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Spoilers below the line…..
So we join Ross and Demelza after the loss of their only child Julia to Morbid Throat and whilst they are waiting for Ross’ trial for his involvement in the plundering of the two ships that were wrecked.
This book isn’t a cheery read at all. Although, once I got back into it, I did read it relatively quickly.
Demelza starts the book by trying to rally support for Ross. Ross is trying to set his estate and affairs in order, for who knows the outcome of the Assize. Judd gives the Prosecution information on Ross’ dealings at the shipwrecks and his behaviour and is paid in drink and a few coins. Demelza and Verity (who is now married to Andrew Blamey) make their way to Bodmin for the trial, whilst Ross sits in a cell thinking about his closing speech.
Dr Enys meets a new lady friend and the comparison between her and Keren are made. Although the new lady is engaged to a politician and has money behind her, also the infatuation is on Dwight’s part this time. Dwight sees Francis, drunk and arguing in the street. He agrees to share his lodgings with Francis as with an election in town and the trial, there is a lot of people staying the night.
Francis, after being told by Dwight that Demelza and Verity were in town and where they were staying, decides to call on Verity. Demelza is out trying to raise opinion of Ross. The meeting is weird and hostile. Francis leaves to go to Dwight’s room. His intention after finally being allowed in, is to kill himself. However, the pistol fails and he lives, spending the night talking it all through with Dwight. Francis has finally realised what the Warleggan’s are actually about.
Ross’ Assize goes well, Judd reneges on his statement, Ross is acquitted of all wrong doing and set free. Demelza is happy. They return home and Demelza brings up that she’d like to have another child. Ross defiantly disapproves. Not willing to lose another child. Demelza is heartbroken, already being 4 months with child. The hormones and mind-games start clouding her judgement. (Where as only alcohol and women can cloud a man’s….)
Times are hard, the mine isn’t wielding any profit, Ross and Demelza decide to sell some of their furnishings and livestock in the hope it will hold off Debtor’s Prison for a bit longer. Ross sells his shares in Wheal Leisure and decides, after making up with Francis, to reopen Wheal Grace. A business they can run with now outside investors to be bought out by the Warleggan’s. Francis puts his shares in his son’s name. Jeffrey Poldark is in a venture with his second cousin, Ross. (Possibly securing him a future inheritance?)
Demelza blurts out to Ross that she is pregnant whilst he is wrestling with the idea of allowing smugglers to use his bay to bring their goods in from France. He agrees after driving a hard bargain with the price of his service.
Judd is attacked and declared dead. Prudy finds the money he was hiding from his exploits with the smugglers. She decides to spend it on giving him a good send off. Judd wakes up the night before his burial.
Ross fights with George Warleggan after he drops hints that the money Francis is using to fund the project was gained by divulging the names of those who were banking with the Warleggan’s and involved with the Carnmore Copper Company. Ross now can’t fight the traitorous thoughts of his cousin. He doesn’t know that the money was handed over because of face. The Warleggan’s cousin (the one who died on the shipwreck) had cheated Francis out of Grambler and his inheritance whilst playing card. Ross exposed this and bought shame to their family name. George sought to fix that, just as Francis received word that Verity had eloped with Captain Blamey. In his anger and misguided belief that it was Ross who had helped Verity plan this, he told George who the investors were. Thus bringing about the closure of the Carnmore Copper Company.
Verity meets Blamey’s children. She is met with hostility from his daughter and friendliness from his son.
Demelza gets stuck at sea and hurt whilst fighting her way to get back to their cove. She goes into labour. Jeremy Poldark is born. The family are united under one roof for the small celebration. Ross and Demelza, Francis and Elizabeth (who Demelza has had a lot of jealousy for), Dwight Enys, Verity and Captain Blamey.
I did enjoy this book, there are few comedic moments, Judd’s awakening at his own wake (which was held before the Burial) provided some light relief. Francis and Ross having a go at George Warleggan provided the “YES! Serves him right!” moments. The book doesn’t focus on one couple though, flicking between differing characters. Dr Dwight Enys’ attachment to Caroline Penvenan features a lot. Demelza’s growing paranoia and jealousy of Elizabeth. Ross and Demelza aren’t the happy couple they once were. Francis and Elizabeth are troubled too. Don’t read this book expecting the love and closeness of the first two books. You will not find it.