The Tea Planter’s Wife

Penguin Viking, Sept 2015

How many secrets does it take to break the perfect marriage?

Two newlyweds; practically strangers, deeply in love, and each hiding a secret from the other…

From the Richard & Judy review of The Tea Planter’s Wife: “Gwen is a brand-new bride, back in the 1920s, stepping off a steamer in Ceylon to join her tea-planter husband, Laurence. He is a widower (who) she met and married in England after a whirlwind romance …

But there is a serpent in paradise. The man she married has changed. His mood is fitful, precocious, unpredictable. Sometimes he is the laughing, loving person she fell head over heels for; but for much of the time he broods, and keeps his distance. Their sex life, deeply satisfying and enriching at first, has become sporadic and clumsy.

Something is very wrong.”

Wandering into forbidden places Gwen finds locked doors, trunks full of dusty dresses, a tiny overgrown grave in the grounds – clues to a hidden unspeakable past.  Laurence refuses to answer Gwen’s questions and withdraws from her still further.

After Gwen falls pregnant, Laurence is overjoyed and their relationship improves.

But in the delivery room, while Laurence is away, Gwen is faced with a terrible dilemma – and a choice she feels she must hide from Laurence at all costs. Can she keep such a powerful secret? How will he ever forgive if he finds out what she has done?

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The Tea Planter’s Wife is a Richard and Judy Autumn 2015 Book Club pick.

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