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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winston Graham, Thank You for a Wonderful Series
In this novel, the lives of the Poldark Family come full circle. As the title suggests, the novel is centered on the youngest daughter, Bella, who has her heart set on becoming an operatic singer.
As in all the preceding 11 novels of the series, Graham brings to life here the feelings and sensibilities of early 19th century Cornwall, and by extension, England and...
Published on 2 Oct 2003 by MONTGOMERY

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark
Beginning with The Stranger from the Sea, Mr. Graham took the children of Ross and Demelza and Elizabeth and George Warleggan into the Regency era - and I admit I was as excited & thrilled as any fan of the Poldark novels to know that the story was being continued. Unfortunately I thought The Stranger from the Sea was a weak beginning in terms of its plot; I also formed...
Published on 3 Aug 2010 by SusieQ


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winston Graham, Thank You for a Wonderful Series, 2 Oct 2003
By 
MONTGOMERY (WASHINGTON, DC - U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
In this novel, the lives of the Poldark Family come full circle. As the title suggests, the novel is centered on the youngest daughter, Bella, who has her heart set on becoming an operatic singer.
As in all the preceding 11 novels of the series, Graham brings to life here the feelings and sensibilities of early 19th century Cornwall, and by extension, England and Europe in the immediate post-Napoleonic era. The characters are well-drawn and you find yourself, as you read this novel, wanting to know how they'll fare at journey's end.
While I enjoyed this novel, and the other 3 novels of the series I have read (I'm now reading "ROSS POLDARK", the first of the series), I felt sad to know that this is the last of the series. (As some of you may already know, Winston Graham passed away at the age of 93 this past July.)
Next to James Clavell, Graham has been able to create characters in the Poldark Series - Ross & Demelza & their children, George Warleggan, Valentine Warleggan, Verity, Geoffrey-Charles, Cuby - who could take on the lives of REAL PEOPLE. Love or hate them, you could never be indifferent about these people while reading any of the Poldark novels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark, 3 Aug 2010
By 
Beginning with The Stranger from the Sea, Mr. Graham took the children of Ross and Demelza and Elizabeth and George Warleggan into the Regency era - and I admit I was as excited & thrilled as any fan of the Poldark novels to know that the story was being continued. Unfortunately I thought The Stranger from the Sea was a weak beginning in terms of its plot; I also formed a negative impression of several new characters, such as Stephen Carrington, and the Kellow family, for example, which affected my total enjoyment of the continued series, but I did think each succeeding book became stronger. I thought The Twisted Sword concluded the series, and the younger generations' stories, very well, if sadly.

BELLA POLDARK for me was a turn-back to the disappointment of The Stranger from the Sea: a clunky and cluttered plot peopled with somewhat familiar-but-remote older characters who didn't seem to bear any relation to the Ross, Demelza, George, Dwight and Caroline, et al. that I had known. Of course they WERE older so one expects change, but what these older characters lacked was the spark of life that Mr. Graham had so successfully given them, the spark that made them so real.

Then there are the odd-ball characters that populate this final story: Philip Prideaux; Christopher Harvegal, the Kellow family, most especially Paul Kellow who certainly made a 90 degree turn from the minor character he was in the previous novels... If The Twisted Sword was a sad book in some respects BELLA POLDARK is a somewhat gruesome one in terms of the Jack-the-Ripper-ish subplot, which to me sticks out like a sore thumb.

Each Poldark daughter has two suitors to choose from. I admit to some pleasure in the fact that Clowance finally chooses well, but Bella's romances were tedious. It was another disappointment to me that Bella was allowed to have a physical affair with her second suitor; a suitor who seemed to be created just to give her relationship with Christopher the edge and conflict it was lacking. (Mr. Graham never went much beyond the bedroom door before in the Poldark series so it was also jarring to read the brief description of Bella's seduction.) And Ross - behaving so gently when his daughter elopes, and after finding out about her affair?

The character of Valentine Warleggan was, for me, re-developed from previous books in a most unsatisfactory way - half almost-criminal; half lost soul. The quiet scene with Ross in The Twisted Sword when Valentine finally questions Ross about his parentage was vintage Winston Graham: sparingly emotional and resolute. In BELLA POLDARK, I didn't hate the fact that Valentine wanted to draw closer to his natural father, and that he'd been damaged by Warleggan's attitude to him in his childhood. But we are told this several times (another disappointment - it was both show AND tell). Finally, I just didn't like the highly emotional, melodramatic final twist that occurs in "resolving" the character and story of Valentine.

For the first time in reading a Poldark novel, I felt that briefly-encountered older supporting characters such as Sam Carne, Ben Carter, and Jud Paynter, and new subcharacters such as Esther the niece of Demelza, were now "quaint", or, little bits of undeveloped (or recycled) characters.

Is this a readable book? Well yes it is, I don't think a good novelist of 70+ years experience is going to produce something totally un-readable - it's mostly as a Poldark book that I find it so lost, and weakly plotted in most respects.

I still highly recommend the first eight novels of the series, "Ross Poldark" through "The Angry Tide". But after encountering the remaining books, and *especially* now BELLA POLDARK I am left feeling that what happened next was best left with The Twisted Sword, if not to readers' imaginations.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark -reviewed, 24 Jun 2002
By A Customer
I really enjoyed the conclusion to the Poldark Saga as I felt that it tied up some loose ends - though there are a few left! The description was great, it really felt as if I was stood by the characters, experiencing the new places and scenes at the same times as them. They were some very unexpected happenings that really added exciting twists to the story. It was nice to pick up familiar characters where we left them, although I would have liked to have heard a bit more about Cuby Poldark, Sophie Enys and Meliora Enys. It was good to hear how Henry's character is developing, thought it is a shame that Winston Graham isn't writing any more, as I would have liked to see how he becomes as he gets older. I was also pleased that the story moves to London and Paris as it kept variation in the book, and made every return to Cornwall and Nampara even more refreshing. It was surprising how like Demelze Bella has become! Bella Poldark is an excellent read, although I wish Winston Graham would pick it up again soon!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epilogue, 7 July 2003
Drama, Passion and Intrigue. At the great age of 93 Winston Graham proves once again that he is the master of novels. Remeet all your favourite characters for the last time. Journey from Cornwall to London and France. Do not dare to poke your nose out of doors and walk alone in the dark. A fitting requiem for one of the most famous familes to walk the pages of a novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return to Cornwall, 23 Jun 2003
Winston Graham's concluding story has all the ingredients for a memorising trip back into the past. Ross, Demelza, Clowance, Isabella-Rose - add a dash of Warleggan, a pinch of a new character, the mysterious Philip Prideaux.
To this rich potion add a dangerous serial killer on the loose, a sprinkle of the delights of Old London Town, a back drop of magnificent Cornish scenery from Nampara Beach to the spoil heaps of Wheal Elizabeth, resulting in an intoxicating recipe for long nights on the settee with a glass of port and a roaring fire.
It's so good you can almost smell the Payntor's house and the more pleasing aroma of the sea!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark, 11 Aug 2005
By 
S. Vogler (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What joy to find another Poldark book and how sad it is the last. The characters remained true throughout the whole series and reading this was like hearing about old friends. A book to read long past bedtime and pick up again at breakfast!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bellamy Poldark, 2 May 2014
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Another brilliant tale of Ross Poldark and his family affairs. A must for Poldark fans! Don't miss this one if possible!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark: a novel of Cornwall 1818-1830, 23 April 2014
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I was delighted to find that Winston Graham had written a further Poldark novel to follow the first nine which I enjoyed so much years ago. I'm sure readers will find this one as well written and as good a read as I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark, 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Bella Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 1818-1820 (Kindle Edition)
Recommended reading. I have recently read all the Poldark books again. It expands the conclusion of the stories, but leaves some questions unanswered. A great pity that Winston Graham has passed away. Perhaps Bernard Cornwell would like to pick up from where Winston Graham left off?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bella Poldark, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bella Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 1818-1820 (Kindle Edition)
The last book in the Poldark series unfortunately. It more or less brings the whole series to a conclusion but I for one am very sorry not to have yet another one to look forward to. Winston Graham was a marvellous writer and is sadly missed.
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