“There are no permanent things, only fleeting moments of warmth and companionship, precious stationary seconds in a flicker of troubled days.” A typical poignant piece of prose from ‘Jeremy’ the third Poldark book.
‘Jeremy’ Poldark picks up where the tumultuous and sad ending of ‘Demelza’ and season two of BBC/PBS series Poldark left off. Without spoiling the story, Ross is reeling from the unexpected tragedy of the death of a loved one. Feeling angry and helpless, run into the ground by both the mining business as well as by the Warleggan duo who are circling for the kill – a wild opening scene takes place where not one but two ships are run aground in the cove on Ross’ land. By old Cornish tradition, flotsam is scavenged and more often than not means the difference between barely making it and starving for the poor of the countryside.
TWO entire ships though, even one entire ship is a lot more noticeable than a bit of cargo washed ashore, and when Ross wakes the mining community in the middle of the night to meet the doomed ship upon its wreckage; he gets more than he bargained for by miles.
‘Jeremy’ focuses on the strenuous efforts of George Warleggan in particular to ruin Ross, and the brink of ruin besides that Ross finds himself at as he faces prison for his deeds. The saga is immensely absorbing, so much so that I’ve read the last three books in a weeks time. Things are starting to look rather grim for Ross and Demelza though, one wonders just how much ordinary people can take of heartache and poverty.
The thing that strikes me about ‘Jeremy’ is the authors near refusal to give his characters a ‘break’ as an author wants to do. ‘Kill your darlings’ is a famous quote because as an author you know you must put your heroes through the fire, but as the one with the power to make things better for them, it can be just as agonizing to write their tribulations as it is for the reader who is absorbed in the characters future.
Still, ‘Jeremy’ is every bit as humorous (I may not have focused on that in particular in the first two reviews, but it is frequently quite funny), nail-biting, and full of stormy relationship drama as the first two books. New and welcome characters are introduced, most notably in the form of a pert young heiress named Caroline Penevan, and though most of the book focuses on the trial of Ross, the rich tapestry of the lives of all those in the little sleepy mining town continues.
Also, who is this guy on the cover? The only cover I can find online? He ain’t on the show, and Jeremy is only ever a baby in the book. Whatever.
Look I found a proper cover (revised 06/2018)