The Tea Planter’s Wife

index-aspxDinah Jefferies has written other novels, but this is the first one published in the U.S. It revolves around life on a tea plantation in colonial Ceylon in the 1920s (since 1972, the island country is a republic now known as Sri Lanka).  Gwen Hopper is an Englishwoman who has followed her English husband Laurence to the plantation that he owns on the island of Ceylon. She has to adjust to a much different life now than she was accustomed to in England, including handling a difficult sister-in-law, Verity, managing house servants and finding her place in a new society. Gwen struggles with a huge secret that she feels she must hide from her husband for fear that it will cause her marriage to end. The novel touches on the beginning of the discord between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, over which language would be taught in schools, and the author provides a bibliography of resources for those  interested in learning more about those years in the history of Ceylon. A good read for historical fiction fans.

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