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The Tea Planter's Wife

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#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 join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected.

The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous, and there are clues to the past - a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds - that her husband refuses to discuss.

Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can't stay buried forever....

435 pages, Paperback

First published August 27, 2015

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About the author

Dinah Jefferies

14 books1,069 followers
*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 atmosphere of the tropics rises from these pages like a humid mist. We are on a tea plantation in 1920s Ceylon and 19 year old Gwendolyn Hooper is the new bride of the owner, a wealthy and charming widower. But her romantic dreams of marriage are overshadowed by echoes from the past – an old trunk of musty dresses; an overgrown and neglected gravestone in the grounds. Her new husband refuses to talk about them. Gwen’s perfect man is becoming a perfect stranger…"

Quote from the great author Kate Furnivall about my first book THE SEPARATION:

'A powerful story of love and loss that is utterly captivating. I was drawn deep into the world of Malaya and England in the 1950s in this intense exploration of what it means to love. Beautifully written and wonderfully atmospheric, Dinah Jefferies skilfully captures this fragile moment of history in a complex and thrilling tale. THE SEPARATION is a gripping and intelligent read.'


In 1985, the sudden death of Dinah Jefferies’ fourteen year old son brought her life to a standstill. She drew on that experience, and on her own childhood spent in Malaya during the 1950s to write her debut novel, The Separation. The guns piled high on the hall table when the rubber planters came into town for a party, the colour and noise of Chinatown, the houses on stilts, and the lizards that left their tails behind.

Now living in Gloucestershire, Dinah once lived in Tuscany working as an au pair for an Italian countess; she has also lived in a ‘hippy’ rock’n roll commune based in an Elizabethan manor house, but started writing when she was living in a small 16th Century village in Spain.

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