A sentence to summarise:
A refined blend of British stoicism and the suffocating impact of secrets, alongside the evocative landscapes of foreign lands.
Youthful Gwen, a born English rose, marries the charmingly captivating Laurence Hooper. Love’s commitments soon sees Gwen aboard a ship bound for Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to accompany her newlywed husband on his family tea plantation. Leaving her English life behind, she embarks on an emotionally charged journey through her personal life which is set amongst the luscious landscape of Ceylon. Aside from the initial excitement of the colourful, wealthy life she starts to build as well as the encouragement from her effervescent cousin Fran, Gwen soon becomes smothered with worry from all angles.
Fighting maternal instincts, a wife’s intuition and her strong moral compass that points to the plantation workers’ welfare, Gwen proves to be a strong-willed and compassionate woman that leaves you feeling compelled and inspired.
A captivating quote:
“Fly?’ Hugh nodded. ‘That’s her word for swimming.”
*(When read in context, this quote will send a spark of warmth within.)*
- The female protagonist Gwendolyn Hooper who we follow on an incredibly emotional journey over the course of 8 years. Gwen is forced to face many challenges along the way whilst always having the happiness of her family at the forefront of her mind.
- Naveena, the ever-loyal ‘ayah’ to Gwen, Laurence and his family. She has been employed by the family since she can remember. She is an exceptionally hard-worker, whilst providing an unquestionable amount of support to Gwen.
Why you should read this:
Who doesn’t enjoy a captivating cross-over of battling personal demons with the enchantment of foreign lands? It is an emotionally evoking story that depicts the personal falls of people who are assigned the upper class lifestyle, but receive harrowing hardships and are forced to experience the challenging upheaval of life’s cannonballs.
I found myself following- in particular- Gwen’s story with a constant yearning for a hopeful ending for her. When you travel on the journey alongside the fictional characters, you know the characters are well created. ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ is a must-read, regardless of any specific fictional genre you may prefer. During the reading of this book, I purchased another of Jeffries’ stories which I cannot wait to get started on!
‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ by Dinah Jeffries.
Published by Penguin 2005.