Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Tea Planter's Wife - Dinah Jefferies

photo courtesy: goodreads.com
An atmospheric read.

I love Srilanka and enjoy reading about it even more. Therefore, it did not take me a lot to pick up this book. I was taken in more so by the cover.  What a colourful and an eye catching cover! The premise only added to the already building curiosity and was only too happy to devour it while on holiday.


Gwen, an England bred woman marries Laurence and comes to live with him on his tea plantation in Sri Lanka. The newly wed bride finds herself in a strange culture, trying to understand her husband who seems distant.

Things move along fine until Gwen faces a unique dilemma which forces her to make a decision that could break or make her marriage.
Does she make the right one or or does she pay for a choice made at the spur of the moment.

What works:
  • A great story. Jefferies has a great plot that she builds on. It was amazing to read the kind of research she undertook to get to the skin of the story. 
  • The writing. The first page itself pulls you in and forces you to keep reading. The narrative is so smooth and fluid that the reader just flows with it.
  • The characters. Gwen is such an interesting character and her struggles seem so real that the reader feels kinship with her right away.
  • Some of the descriptions are so vivid that it is almost as if it is unfolding before your eyes. I could easily visualise the plantation, the waterfalls. Indeed an evocative read.
What doesn't:
  •  Jefferies tackles the Tamil Sinhalese unrest so well and also the imperialism of the time. However, she does not delve much into it. Fair enough, the focus of the story is not political but personal but it left the reader feeling a bit shortchanged on the political unrest of the time.

A great read. I am already looking around for more titles by the author.

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