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The Tea Planter’s Wife

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The Tea Planter’s Wife is a haunting, tender portrait of a woman forced to choose between her duty as a wife and her instinct as a mother… Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.

Viking / Penguin
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Dinah Jefferies


#1 Sunday Times bestseller
A Richard & Judy bookclub pick

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.

Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It’s a place filled with clues to the past – locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult…

Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand – least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?

The Tea Planter’s Wife is a story of guilt, betrayal and untold secrets vividly and entrancingly set in colonial era Ceylon.

‘My ideal read; mystery, love, heart-break and joy – I couldn’t put it down.’
Santa Montefiore, author of The Beekeeper’s Daughter

‘Sensuous but tinged with menace, like a Rebecca transplanted to the Tropics, The Tea Planter’s Wife brings 1920s Ceylon to vivid life. Dinah writes beautifully and with total authority about what is now Sri Lanka.’
Kate Riordan, author of The Girl in the Photograph

‘The Tea Planter’s Wife is an exceptional novel set in Ceylon in the 1920s and 1930s. The characters come alive moment by moment, as the secrets are unravelled. The tea plantation is a delightful backdrop to weave tales of love and loss. I was spell bound from beginning to end with the emotional twist and turns. Dinah Jefferies has hit a home run with this fabulous novel.’
Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

‘Beautifully written and heart rending, this has a magical setting with a real sense of period.’
Katie Fforde, author of A Vintage Wedding

‘Dark secrets lie at every turn, hidden beneath layers of 1920s racism and the fearfulness of a crumbling colonial power, making for a thoroughly gripping tale. But what I loved most of all, underpinning the whole narrative, is the moving way in which Dinah writes about the loss of children and the redemptive power of love.’
Liz Trenow, author of The Poppy Factory

‘Vibrant and compelling – Dinah Jefferies perfectly captures the flavour of colonial Ceylon.’
Rosanna Ley, author of The Saffron Trail

‘With The Tea Planter’s Wife, Dinah Jeffries has once again created a gloriously atmospheric and tension-filled novel that centres on the separation of a mother and her child. Immensely enjoyable, poignant and compelling it’s a worthy successor to The Separation , Dinah’s debut.’
Isabel Wolff, author of Ghostwritten

‘Moody, evocative, heat breaking, page turning…all set in Ceylon in 1920s and 1930s. A juicy compelling read.’
Liz Fenwick, author of Under a Cornish Sky

‘A terrific and atmospheric read, full of riveting detail, and very emotional too. I’m sure it will be a big success.’
Elizabeth Buchan, author of The Good Wife and I Can’t Begin to Tell You

‘British author Jefferies gives a graceful nod to du Maurier’s classic Rebecca in her spellbinding American debut…a superbly written novel that readers of historical fiction as well as women’s fiction will treasure.’
John Charles, Booklist

‘An engrossing tale of mystery, manners, and prejudice set against the backdrop of Ceylon (current-day Sri Lanka)…Jefferies shows that she can weave a suspenseful tale in which characters’ complex motivations converge in surprising ways.’
Publishers Weekly

‘An unusual but intriguing trip to a little visited time.’
Romance Reviews Today

‘A highly atmospheric story, rich in details of time and place, suppressed secrets, and passions. Love, hate, and the heartbreaking misunderstandings caused by allowing the past to fester in darkness all add up to a good read.’
Romance Junkies