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The Tea Planter's Wife Review

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Patricia

Patricia Report 14 Nov 2015 14:15

I hope it is OK to start this topic. I cannot see a review thread for this book.
I had hopes of this book as I read The Separation and thought the author's next book might be an improvement on it. However, I have reservations about this one too.
The beginning of the plot is somewhat of a cliché - young woman marries older widower whom she hardly knows and goes to Ceylon where he has a tea plantation.
I felt that from the start the way the husband behaves - turning cold as soon as they reach his home and then returning to normal for no real reason was unlikely.
The concealment by Gwen - the young wife - of the birth of a black twin with a white one is the real secret that drives the plot. I guessed almost immediately why this had happened which then made me feel really irritated when Gwen repeatedly fails to tell Laurence - her husband - the truth. Of course, he is also concealing the truth about his first wife's death. Again not difficult to guess why.
Altogether this was a bit too much melodrama for me and I did not find it easy to engage with the characters.
I feel it is a pity that the author could write a really good book but needs to find a better plot. The atmosphere of Ceylon from the point of view of the expats living there and the background information about tea and Ceylon itself is interesting.
Not really my kind of book I am afraid but thank you Genes for the opportunity to read it.

Morag

Morag Report 18 Nov 2015 08:42

The Tea Planter's Wife arrived out of the blue. It had been getting rave reviews and I was excited about reading it.
The premise of a young expat wife giving birth to twins of different ethnicity is a good one. The description of Ceylon is very evocative and the author deals well with the ex pat lifestyle.
However, again, as with her previous book, this did not live up to expectations. Much was made of the death of the first wife but there was no sense of menace or suspense. It was just another of the secrets to be held back for resolution at the end. Unfortunately it was fairly easy to guess several of the secrets and without the suspense the characters were at times cliched and downright irritating. Lawrence was presumably meant to come across as a strong and silent type instead of a moody and weak man who is incapable of dealing with his ghastly sister. Gwen's frustration with Lawrence, Verity, Christina and McGregor came across as a fit of the vapours whenever things got tough.
I' m sorry to appear so negative but this book was a disappointment as in my opinion it had so much potential. It's an easy holiday read and has had loads of favourable reviews so give it a go if you get the chance.i'm very grateful for the opportunity to read it.

Winifred

Winifred Report 28 Nov 2015 19:55

Wow I loved this book. Don't usually enjoy what I call 'girlie' books such as love and romance but I thoroughly enjoyed this one .....a real page turner.......I couldn't put it down. I thought Gwen was a strong character and a contrast to her weak husband who seemed incapable of controlling his sister. Their relationship was intriguing. I thought the secrets were intriguing too and kept me wondering throughout. The description of life in colonial India was described well as was the tea planting business. There were many fascinating characters in this book such as Christine. Why do authors always give their characters similar names e.g. Christine and Caroline. In this instant it wasn't too muddling but I have noticed it with irritation in other books. I will certainly be reading more books by this author. Thank you for a great read .....sorry other reviewers didn't enjoy it.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 28 Nov 2015 20:11

As I said on the kindle thread, I didn't receive the book via Genes but I read it on holiday and really enjoyed it.

Persephone

Persephone Report 9 Dec 2015 00:35

I liked this book, the pyramid of relationships between the British and Americans and the Tamils and the Sinhalese was exactly how things were run. People like McGregor saw nothing wrong in his treatment of the Ceylonese people, he did not see it as being racist and I welcomed the fact that Gwen opened his eyes and made him sit back and evaluate his treatment of the pluckers and workers. The family relationship did portray Lawrence as rather weak but I believe he was a frightened individual over what happened with his first wife and over his sister's behaviour. What a sneaky character she turned out to be.
The son Hugh was well portrayed as was Naveena who looked after Gwen. She showed loyalty and your secrets were safe with her.

I enjoyed the interaction between all the characters and whilst I have not read others by this author and this may well be a one off I am very happy to have read it. Was not disappointed in it at all.