“The Tea Planter’s Wife” by Dinah Jefferies

In 1925 the 19-year-old heroine in this novel is a young empire schooled British woman who leaves the security of England to embark on a marriage and a new life in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. At that time Sri Lanka was still a British Colony. On her husband’s tea plantation she is known as “The Tea Planter’s Wife.” The woman inside of this reviewer enjoyed the love story keeping in mind that this is not romance novel. The no nonsense reviewer in me, whose favorite genre happens to be historical fiction, enjoyed learning about a time and place that I knew little about. The novel is filled with powerful imagery that pulls the reader into it’s pages. I could smell the flowers; feel the heat and long to be attending one of the lavish parties, sparing no expense, given by the young wife’s wealthy, white husband. However, reminiscent of the South in the United States prior to the end of slavery, one also receives knowledge of the brown skinned plantation worker’s brutally unfair lives. The reader is made aware of undercurrents of their resentment which will eventually lead to rebellion. In addition, the plot is filled with personal prejudices that create secret tragedies for the characters in a richly interwoven subtext that touches upon a Gothic tale. This book will be on sale as of September 13, 2016. I would like thank Netgalley and the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, for providing me with this review copy. If you like women’s historical fiction you will enjoy “The Tea Planter’s Wife.”

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