Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
Poldark is my very favorite TV show, and I eagerly await every new episode. I adore the plot, the characters, and the scenery, and love being swept away to the Cornish coast. Because my love of the show is so strong, I have hesitated to read the novels, afraid that I would end up disliking the show, or hating the books, if the differences were glaring. I am thrilled to report, however, that the book and the show are the perfect marriage, the perfect compliment to each other. The show has given me a visual of the setting, and the set pieces and costumes are vivid in my imagination as I read the books. The books, as always, bring a rich context and further background information, thoughts, and motivations that really flush out the story that there is no way to translate onto screen. I couldn't be happier with the pairing.
Ross Poldark is a strong-willed young man, son of an impoverished country lord, who has been away the last decade helping fight the Revolutionary War in America. He returns home to find his father dead a few months past, his estate in disrepair, and his beloved betrothed to his cousin. At first bitter and overwhelmed, Ross takes in a local girl as a kitchen maid, and Demelza soon has transformed the atmosphere of the house with her spirit and youth, although sometimes only by trying Ross's patience to the extreme. Ross rallies investors to re-open the mine his father had run years before and works through the morass of his heartache by bringing his estate back to prosperity with the labor of his own hands. Ross is strong and good and loyal and unerringly moral, and one of my favorite male protagonists of all time. I'm excited to read the rest of the books in the series! I'd highly recommend these books for fans of the show or lovers of historical fiction or epic historical dramas.