Book Review – Poldark By Winston Graham

Poldark is more than one book review; it is is a series of books. I usually read true stories, but I do venture into books that blend the two, fact and fiction, and this meets the type of reading I generally do. The series spans 12 novels, so if you don’t have time to do a lot of reading, this will be a challenge. Not because of the volumes, but they are so good you will not want to put them down.

Twelve novels are ranging in size for 300+ pages to just over 1000 pages each. Winston Graham does a fantastic job of not only blending time and a story of multiple characters but also a story with numerous twists and turns with no break in the action over 12 novels.

You may or may not know this was a TV series on PBS out of England. The novels, of course, predate the TV series, and as good as the show was, it does not even come close to telling the story that you will find in these books.

I’m not going to cover each book here; had I done that, this would be a book to itself! The general storyline is of Captain Poldark returning to England after fighting in the American Revolution. He returns to his home in the English countryside and starts to build his life. There are numerous plots of rivalries, romance and infidelity, competition, and the highs and lows of building, risk, and struggles of business and, of course, politics.

The story spans the life of Captain Poldark from the post late 1700’s to the early 1800s. Winston Graham does an exceptional job of telling this story with such clarity that you feel like you are living in that period. The way he describes the countryside, the homes and settings make the story engaging and an easy read, which is not easy to do when you consider twelve volumes. It is so good you almost can’t wait for one book to end to start the next, and I was disappointed when I completed the full twelve volumes.

The books and the storyline are so well told that even taking a break between books is still easy to pick up the next volume and continue without missing a beat. If you enjoy reading and love a good story, especially a period piece that can blend in a bit of history, then you should read these books. Trust me, you will be hooked in the first five pages, and there is no going back at that point. It is a fantastic read and very well written.

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