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....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Linda on 08-10-15
A Change for Me
I saw Dinah Jefferies on television the other day and decided to see what this book was like. I am so glad I did
Not my normal sort of novel but I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Touching and at times terrifying. Will be waiting for the next one now
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Cian on 08-09-15
Historical colonial Ceylon at a slow pace
I chose this as on the Richard and Judy bookclub list. I felt the narrative was really helpful and aided the story.
This work is set in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It speaks of the conflict of cultures between the native people of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and the colonising British people who had become the ruling group. Native traditions and their beliefs are considered secondary and inconsequential to the stiff beliefs of the ruling British.
The descriptions of Ceylon are both expressive and evocative showing the area as an extremely hot, beautiful place with many social issues. The story is infact surrounded by secrets and deception.
While it was easy to see where the story was going I did not find it easy to relate to any of the characters.
I did not like Laurence or his sister Verity. His relationship with her was very odd. I expected this to be explained in some way as the story moved forward but it was not.
Gwen came across as extremely naive and I did feel frustrated and annoyed with her lack of action and silence in the face of such things but then have to realise that I am looking on this from a different time and perspective which was not available to people of this time. While this story may and could easily have occurred to people living in such areas I would hope that they may have handled it in a more assertive way to Gwen.
The main part of the story is based around Genealogy. It is evident that to look back through a family history may produce many surprises depending on how far back you look and its sad to think of many children who were abandoned as a result of ignorance on the behalf of the parents together with fear of what others would think.
Gwen does change with the years, becoming slightly more assertive.
Overall it is evident that Gwen married a much older man with a lifetime of hidden secrets and baggage which although totally unknown to Gwen deeply affected and changed her and that of her family's life path.
I am pleased to have read this book but it moved way too slowly for me. I felt it was an average read.
I would recommend it to lovers of family historical saga’s as they may love it.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By smaller on 13-08-17
sorrow fear anxiety lieing confusion secrets
weak book, sad and so terribly frustrating, shallow dialogue, only last ten minutes satisfying, alas!!
By Beauty on 28-07-16
Talk About MENTAL!!!
Would you consider the audio edition of The Tea Planter's Wife to be better than the print version?
This book is worth the listen. It will give you historical insight and intrigue you with the psychology of the protagonist. I would listen to this book again.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tea Planter's Wife?
I can't tell you - you have to listen to it!
Have you listened to any of Avita Jay’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I ADORE HER VOICE!!!!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes - it was very long, but I finished it in 3 days
Any additional comments?