Author: Dinah Jefferies
Genre: Fiction/ Historical
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publish Date: June 20, 2017
#1 International bestselling novel set in 1920s Ceylon, about a young Englishwoman who marries a charming tea plantation owner and widower, only to discover he’s keeping terrible secrets about his past, including what happened to his first wife, that lead to devastating consequences
Wow! This was a remarkable novel. It’s only right that it holds such a high rating on GoodReads, and is a number one Sunday times bestseller. I absolutely loved it from start to finish.
Young newlywed Gwendoline is off to join her older husband, Laurence, on the plantation he runs in Sri Lanka, a country renowned for its strong teas. Having lived a life of relative comfort, Gwen is soon comfortable in the large home with servants available to care for her every need. However, she feels uneasy at her husbands reluctance to spend time with her and in particular, being observed by her eagle eyed sister in law.
Gwen soon discovers secrets hidden within the plantation grounds, but is soon distracted by her own pregnancy, which brings its own challenges. Suddenly, young Gwen is the one who has a secret to keep.
I adored the writing style and felt completely at ease with the writers descriptions of the country, the heat, the food and the culture. Jefferies paid close attention to the divide between the rich white families who ran such plantations in the twenties and thirties, and the coloured workers who served them. I feel the author covered this aspect sympathetically.
The storyline had me gripped from page one. I was actually hoping the book wouldn’t end, and found myself thinking of Gwen and her troubles even when I wasn’t actively reading.
A pretty much faultless novel; I look forward to reading the authors next book.