BELLA POLDARK (Poldark Saga #12) by Winston Graham
Published; July 1st 2002, Pan Macmillan
The stories of the Poldark family—Ross, the strong, independent squire and his beautiful, outspoken wife Demelza; their son Jeremy; their talented, headstrong daughter Bella; and their long-standing feud with humorless landowner Sir George Warleggan—have sold millions of copies, and in the 1970s were made into the most widely watched TV series of the decade.
Now, the twelfth and final novel brings the family story to a close—with Bella taking center stage, moving between her home at Nampara on the rugged Cornish coast and the wildly exciting world of the theater in London and Europe at the beginning of the 19th century.
After 12 books you would expect to start getting bored of a series and the characters that go with but it just was not the case for me with Bella Poldark. In fact I found myself enjoying this book so much I couldn’t wait to be able to keep reading.
The war in France now being over I found the historical references a lot less in this book which certainly added to my enjoyment. Winston writes so well that you fall deep into the lives of the characters and all the emotions that go with it. When I saw that this instalment had 688 pages I honestly did not know what to expect, our characters have been through so much can they really deal with more? but yes they can and it is not what you expect.
The thing I loved most about Bella was it was so unpredictable. To write 688 pages and be able to keep it surprising is very telling of Winston’s talents as an author. I thought I had something sussed but then discover I was completely wrong. The constant guessing kept me turning the pages that’s for sure.
I remember my friend saying to me as we began to read this “I am not sure I like new characters coming in so far in the series” and I sort of agreed with her although I said “There will be a reason for them, there always is” and sure enough by the end of the book not only are we glad to have them there we even quite like them.
Of course, a Poldark book wouldn’t be the same without people we hate and Bella is no exception. George Warleggan is still breathing of course but we also dislike and even hate other characters too which just adds to the book.
I think the most shocking thing is how Winston can dispense with people we see as main characters so easily. In Bella we lose someone that has been a big part of the last few books. We really do feel every emotion possible, from happiness to laugh out loud parts to tears and heartbreak.
Winston ties up all the loose ends and finishes the series in a way that leaves the reader satisfied and with a smile on their face. After 12 books you really couldn’t ask for more.
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