Friday, 4 September 2015

The Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jefferies

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. 

But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. 

The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. 
And there are clues to the past - a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds - that her husband refuses to discuss. 
Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can't stay buried forever . . .

I have literally just finished The Tea Planters Wife, and normally when I come to the end of a book I have words hurling around my head, sentences already strung together and a rough idea of what I want to say within my review.

Yet I'm sat here, trying to battle with my emotions after what has been one of the most powerful reads of the year!

The Tea Planters Wife wouldn't generally be the type of book I would go for but when the opportunity came for me to obtain a copy I didn't resist, and boy I was not disappointed - plus who passes up a free book anyway?!! 

Set in the 1920s/1930s, the book is based in Ceylon and tells the tale of Gwen, a young English girl on her way to a new life with her new husband. Right from the start not all is as it seems when she feels her husband, Laurence, is distant from her. After she discovers things she shouldn't have (I won't say and spoil it!) she can't help but feel he's keeping something from her.

Roles are quickly reversed when Gwen has to make a rash decision and then live with her choice, until it comes back to face her. Can the secrets of the tea plantation ruin their marriage? Or will they over come these to have the happy life Gwen has dreamt about?

This book had everything from secrets and lies, to dealing with the fall in economy and risk of business.
There was also the issue of relationships, not only between husband and wife but between other family members and work forces who were of other ethnics.

The deep dark secrets were powerful and moving making me question what I would do in that situations. It gave insight to a whole new world and industry and you could tell the author had worked incredibly hard on the details, describing Ceylon, Gwen's home and the tea making process in great depth.

After I'd finished the book I did some searching on the author and book, I try to avoid this whilst reading so that my thoughts aren't influenced, however if you would like an insight to Ceylon and the area described in the book then the link below is to Dinah's research page on Pinterest and gives some amazing visuals.

I would not hesitate to recommend this book.

I would like to thank Dinah and the teams at Penguin for approving my NetGalley request to read The Tea Planters Wife.
This is my honest review.


  1. Sounds fabulous this is going to the top of my to read list. Thank you for such a good review without spoiling the book. :)

    1. Your welcome Gill - I hope you enjoy it! Lozza😊

  2. I absolutely loved this book - it was one of my favourite reads this year.