The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies, publisher Penguin is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format from TOMORROW 3rd September 2015.
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Product Details (as per amazon page)
Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.
Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It’s a place filled with clues to the past – locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult…
Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand – least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?
I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.
This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies. The Tea Planter’s Wife is Dinah’s second book with The Separation as her first.
It’s the early 1920’s when Gwen meets and falls in love with Laurence, an owner of a tea plantation, during one of his visits to England. Gwen takes the emotional journey of a new young wife on a steamer set sail for Ceylon. A journey of trepidation, a journey of excitement, a journey of hope, a journey of the unknown. Ceylon was a very different world to London, an unforgiving climate, culture and lifestyle beckoned for Gwen. Gwen found Laurence very distant at times when she first joined him in Ceylon at the tea plantation as his wife, he wasn’t the man she had fallen in love with, although there were glimpses at times of the ‘old’ Laurence. Laurence was very engrossed in his work which left Gwen on her own a lot to learn about this new world. Gwen was quite naïve and vulnerable at times and a supposedly happy event was to change the course of Gwen’s new idyllic life. This event brought an emotional torture for Gwen and she struggled with this and her secret was to be locked up. However, hers was not the only secret that the house kept hidden away. These secrets slowly start revealing themselves causing old wounds to be re-opened. These secrets were truly heart breaking and I could feel my own heart shattering whilst reading the words on the page.
This story is very beautiful. I loved Dinah’s wonderful words describing the landscape of colours in Ceylon. I was swept away with this story of love, discovery and heart wrenching secrets in a world without diversity. Beautiful, touching, heartbreaking 5/5* read.
I’d like to share a quote from the book I particularly liked:
‘To Gwen, Ceylon was a place where British dreams had been built and fortunes made, where English families had lived and children had been born, and where her life had changed beyond her wildest dreams. Yet here was a different world, where girls ran about in simple cotton tops and threadbare skirts, where babies gurgled and crawled in the dirt, and people did not have enough to eat.’
To find out more about Dinah Jefferies and her books please visit the following links: