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The Tea Planter's Wife

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  16,337 ratings  ·  1,811 reviews
#1 International bestselling novel set in 1920s Ceylon, about a young Englishwoman who marries a charming tea plantation owner and widower, only to discover he's keeping terrible secrets about his past, including what happened to his first wife, that lead to devastating consequences

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to
Paperback, 418 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by Penguin
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Brenda It actually sounds like a rip-off of "Rebecca," rather than anything written by any of the Bronte' sisters. …more It actually sounds like a rip-off of "Rebecca," rather than anything written by any of the Bronte' sisters. (less)

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The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jeffries is a 2015 Penguin publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and the LIbraryThing early reviewer program.

The Tea Planter’s Wife is an exemplary novel, written with a lush literary prose, which pulls me deep into the landscape and historical setting of colonial Ceylan.

Gwen, only nineteen, marries Laurence, a widower, after a whirlwind romance. Laurence is a tea planter running a successful plantation, and Gwen is determined to learn
Kylie D
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful, thought-provoking story about a young English woman, Gwen, who travels to Ceylon in the 1920's to join her new husband on his tea plantation. She soon settles in to the lifestyle of the plantation and finds herself pregnant, but after she gives birth finds herself keeping secrets from her husband. However, Gwen is not the only one keeping secrets.

This is a beautifully written novel, Dinah Jefferies captures the time and the prejudice rife in Ceylon at the time well. The plantation a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought this book was okay. It wasn't great and it wasn't bad. But that is just my opinion, others love it and others don't love it and it's all good.

There is a little prologue in the front of the book that had me wondering for a good while. But there comes a time when secrets come out that I finally figured out who the person was and what it was about. It was actually sad.

This story is about 19 year-old Gwendolyn (Gwen) and she marries a wonderful tea planter named Laurence. They meet in Lo
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The Tea Planter's Wife is a very intriguing story, of secrets that are harboured within a relationship and are destined to be revealed, but at what cost. Gwen is 19 years old and marries Laurence, a widower and tea plantation owner. The background to Laurence and what happened to his first wife is held in secret but he is not alone because Gwen had an encounter with another man and now she's pregnant - but who is the father. The story builds to an ironic twist and is an enthralling read t
Cathrine ☯️
Thank you to NetGalley & Crown publishing for an advance copy of this book.

I liked the setting of early 1900s Ceylon, the descriptions of the land, people, and tea of course.
It starts with a mystery and jumps ahead 12 years later. A young naive bride has arrived to begin life with her widowed husband on his tea plantation. Things get off to a rocky start. Secrets, a questionable sister-in-law, then more secrets are lurking, and new acquaintances with their own agendas are untrustworthy. A
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m late to the table again with this one.
I’ve chosen my aim all year to read at least one book that’s been on my shelf for a long time. This fits that!

This is ultimately a romance story but with a clear reality, mystery and struggle thrown in.

What if you met your future husband who was all sweetness and light, treated you really well then you marry and he’s indifferent, distant and totally not like the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with?

She’s 19, married to a
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too long. Too many insipid and under IQ'd people. Beautiful place, lush descriptions, time period that jazzed and yet with all 3 of those elements, the characters were mere outlines.

Ceylon and the tea lines, the "pluckers", the severe cultural and racial divides, the horticulture possibilities! With all of that in such high tide levels, you'd think she could have gotten the protagonists and especially some of the under characters to seem actual, real. For me, not at all.

This might have been wri

At nineteen years of age Gwendolyn Hooper was young to be leaving home and venturing half way across the world to live in a new country. But her recent marriage to Laurence meant leaving her home in London and joining him in Ceylon where he owned a large and prosperous tea plantation. Her journey by sea was long and tiresome but her excitement was great. Her arrival though was fraught with worry and concern when Laurence wasn’t there to meet the ship. When a young coloured man by the name o
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
In the 1920's a 19 year old Englishwoman, Gwen(Gwendolyn) arrives in Ceylon(Sri Lanka) to join her older husband, Lawrence at his tea plantation after a whirlwind romance. Gwen struggles to adjust to her new role as a wife and mistress of a very large plantation. The atmosphere is a little reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, as secrets still hide the true demise of Lawrence's first wife, Caroline, and their infant son, Thomas. In addition, Lawrence is reluctant to share with his youthful ...more
Alayne Emmett
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a lovely book, I’ve never read of Dinah Jeffries before but, I will be looking for more of hers in the future.
The book was set in 1920’s and continues on until 1934. It was very descriptive and so beautifully written that I could actually smell the exotic flowers of Ceylon and hear the birds in the trees. It gave you an insight into the tea plantations at that time. I recommend this book for anyone who loves a gentle story.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I buddy read this book with Erin, Stephanie, and Heather!
The Tea Planter's Wife is about a young woman named Gwen who arrives in Ceylon to start her new life as a married woman to a tea planter named Laurence who is a widower. But, before we get to met Gwen is there a prolog about a woman with a small child and I wondered what the woman would have for connections to the story.

Gwen meets on the ship Savi Ravisinghe and I was worried for a while that this would turn out to be a love-triangle, bu
Connie G
Gwen is the new bride of Laurence Hooper, the widowed owner of several tea plantations in Ceylon. He's very secretive about the death of his first wife, and Gwen is not allowed to talk with the workers in the tea fields. Gwen is also confused about Laurence's relationship with a beautiful American businesswoman. His devious, emotionally needy sister is not trustworthy. Eventually it is Gwen herself who is keeping information from Laurence that could possibly destroy their marriage.

The novel has
Oct 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When 19 year old newly wed Gwendolyn arrives in 1920's Ceylon to join her much older husband Laurence, the owner of a tea plantation, she is excited and looking forward to her new life. However, the reality is far from what she expected. Laurence seems to have changed towards her, he is no longer as loving and seems to be withdrawing from her; her youth and inexperience make her ill equipped to cope with him and the household responsibilities she is now expected to take on. She is unaccustomed t ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dinah Jefferies is a fab writer and I love the way she mixes historical events with relationships that don't go according to plan.

This one had me seriously wondering what could have happened for Gwen to have birthed the twins she did. It was heart-breaking on her mental anguish and the children, plus I haven't really got over the awful experience one of the children had.

I thought this book was an easy read with a very interesting plot and I was totally engrossed in the story from beginning to en
*Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley, for the advance copy of The Tea Planter's Wife. It's expected publication date is September 12, 2016 in North America. Reserve your copy!

Dinah Jeffries takes us on a journey to Ceylon, once a British Protectorate and home to the English who travelled the seas to find their fortune on large tea plantations, coddled by Indian waitstaff in luxurious surroundings, served by a huge cheap labour force in their fields and drying rooms but often caught prec
Dale Harcombe
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Nineteen year old Gwendoline sets out for Ceylon to meet up with her new husband. She initially finds him very different to what he had been in London. She struggles to deal with the changes, as well as the different culture and attitudes towards Sinhalese and Tamil people. Never having been to this part of the world, I particularly enjoyed the setting of Ceylon and the insights into life on a tea plantation and the making of tea. The novel also covers the difficulties and problems of different ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The cover drew me in. The storyline kept me reading, and the setting, made me want to pack my bags. The characters were richly described and as I said before, the setting was lush and amazing. I found the story a little long winded on occasion but then I would get caught up in the locale.

The historic value was great and it shared the story of a life I knew nothing about. I think it told a beautiful story that captured the heart of the characters and their life. Dinah Jefferies did a wonderful j
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this story and its beautiful exotic setting. I also loved having a little of the basic background behind how the tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils developed and later (after the book has finished) escalated into the civil war that lasted for many years. THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE is set between the two world wars and is told from the point of view of Gwen – the tea planter’s young wife. When she arrives she is in her late teens and so in love with her h
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Book reviewers are typically solo acts. We pick our books, read our selections, post our thoughts and repeat. We obviously enjoy it, but a lot of us crave debate and discussion when analyzing literature which is what led a small group of my friends and I to commit to a buddy read.

The selection process, as you might imagine, was rather amusing. Four book junkies, rifling through their TBRs, submitting title after title in hop
Cary O'Donnell
Feb 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
I can see this as a BBC mini-series: a great costume drama in a sumptuous colonial setting; wealthy landowners exploiting the over-worked poor; racial tensions between the latter; a multi-way romantic plot, including wicked sister and tragic loss. But the original book will disappoint.

I found myself predicting the major plot features quite early in the book, right down to the final reveal. I even told friends "if x happens then I will throw the book away". It did, but I carried on to see just ho
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star
Wow! This was a remarkable novel. It's only right that it holds such a high rating on GoodReads, and is a number one Sunday times bestseller. I absolutely loved it from start to finish.

Young newlywed Gwendoline is off to join her older husband, Laurence, on the plantation he runs in Sri Lanka, a country renowned for its strong teas. Having lived a life of relative comfort, Gwen is soon comfortable in the large home with servants available to care for her every need. However, she feels uneasy at
Susan Johnson
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 stars

This is the story of a nineteen year old girl, Gwen, who travels to her new husband's, Laurence, tea plantation in Ceylon in 1925. She settles into a new life in a new country with only a few bumps. The setting is beautifully brought alive by the author and you can close your eyes and see the vivid landscape. The tea plantation is also brought to life and the process of making tea is actually quite fascinating.

Still Ceylon is a colony so there's conflicts with the natives and the work
Nov 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Struggling to finish this trite, stereotyped book. How has it got to be a best seller!!!
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely delightful novel. I was transported to a tea plantation in the hills of Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was still called in the 1920's the period the story is mainly set in.

The protagonist Gwendolyn Hooper sailed to Colombo as a young bride to join her widower husband on his plantation. Gwen enjoyed a very privileged lifestyle as a Tea Planters Wife, but she has to cope with a most unusual predicament. Difficult times that test her assumptions about colonialism and racial differences.

When I read the description of the story, I was intrigued with the premise and it is not often I read have a chance to read fiction stories about tea plantations in the British colonies. This story’s setting takes place in Ceylon. My first thoughts were I hope the author blends in facts about tea production and the relations between the British and the natives. We know that history teaches us that the British mistreated the natives often and used them horribly.

I read this story as a buddy read
Julia Sandler
Mar 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't really enjoy this book. It was very, very slow. It did get quite interesting in the middle, however quickly lost my interest again. I found myself considering giving up around 20%, again at 40% and even at 70%! A lot of good reviews, so probably just not the book for me. ...more
2.5/5 stars

I received this digital copy on a read to review basis. Many thanks to Dinah Jefferies, Penguin Books and NetGalley.

The Tea Planter's Wife is a story of a young woman, Gwen who marries a gentleman where they settle to live in Ceylon and as you can guess from the title of the story, becomes the wife of a tea planter.

The story involves mystery, uncertainty, love, happiness, sadness, jealousy and family secrets.

Everything is fine until Gwen gives birth and that's when all the questions
Primrose Jess
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book still harkens back to English colonialization in Asia. The young, fresh Englishwoman leaving her home in England for the exotic foreign land, of Ceylon. Her tea planter husband with secrets of his own which stem from the death of his first wife. A diabolical sister in law who has her sights set on an agenda that does not include interference from her brother's second wife. Fractured relations with the workers on the plantation who chafe at English sovereignty and poor working conditio ...more
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2015, n, net-galley
What a beautifully written, atmospheric book. It takes you back to the sights and sounds of 1920’s Ceylon- you can see the rich colours and imagine life alongside Gwen.
Gwen joins her husband on a tea plantation after they marry- but life isn’t how she’d imagined it would be. Secrets and tensions are all around her and sadness pervades. The characters are so well drawn you can imagine sitting down to ‘tea’ with them.
It educates you on a different culture and era and expectations of the time. I lo
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Buddy Read: Ch 20-25 2 40 Dec 31, 2016 07:09AM  
Buddy Read: Ch 16-19 16 21 May 24, 2016 05:02AM  
Buddy Read: Ch 12-15 11 14 May 18, 2016 08:55AM  
Buddy Read: Ch 8-11 18 20 May 01, 2016 10:40AM  
Buddy Read: Ch 4-7 10 12 Apr 26, 2016 02:36PM  
Buddy Read: Prologue - Ch 3 25 21 Apr 19, 2016 11:09AM  

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*Breaking News* Richard & Judy pick THE TEA PLANTERS WIFE for their autumn bookclub 2015. Here's what Santa Montefiore said: ‘My ideal read; mystery, love, heart-break and joy – I couldn’t put it down.’

Here's what Richard Madeley said. "The Tea Planter’s Wife is so much more than a conventional love story, with all its twists and turns and guilt and betrayal...deeply impressive. The fetid, steamy

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