The Poldark Series continues. The time is February 1794. In the opening pages, the author evokes an image of a sleepy Cornwall in the depths of a harsh and frigid winter. George Warleggan continues to expand his power and influence over the community. His wife Elizabeth (once Ross Poldark's great love) has given birth to a son, Valentine. Her son from her previous marriage to Ross' cousin Francis, Geoffrey Charles, has been given a governess, Morwenna Chynoweth (a cousin of Elizabeth's) to tutor him.
Two of Demelza's brothers, Sam and Drake Carne, both ardent Methodists, come to Ross and Demelza, seeking a new life for themselves in the community. Ross is not exactly thrilled to have them there. But he gives Sam a job working in one of his mines and Drake assumes a trademan's life. With the coming of the Carnes, Methodism in the community is given a considerable boost, which doesn't sit well with a number of the local notables.
The novel goes on to describe the ongoing relationship between Caroline and Dr. Dwight Enys, who had gone into the Navy when it seemed impossible that he and Caroline could marry over the objections of Caroline's uncle and guardian, who had deemed Dr. Enys as socially unsuitable for his niece, who soon stood to acquire an inheritance. The ship on which Dwight is serving as a surgeon is involved in a naval battle near the French coast, and most of the ship's survivors, including Dwight, are taken prisoner. When Caroline gets wind of this, she begins, with Ross, a campaign for Dwight's freedom.
There is also a developing relationship between Morwenna and Drake, which creates further conflict between the Poldarks and the Warleggans.
Again, as in the other novels of the Poldark Series, this is a novel that never falters. Besides the principal characters, there are also a number of minor characters who further enliven and enrich the drama. This is some of the best historical fiction you'll ever find.
So, take a seat by the window of your favorite room or stay in bed one holiday or weekend morning and enjoy what is a richly textured, well-told story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.