Archives for Ceylon

#Bookreview ‘The Sapphire Widow’ by @DinahJefferies #historical #romance

When Dinah Jeffries writes about Ceylon, you can smell it and sense it. The blossom, the flowers, the birds, she is excellent at evoking setting. The Sapphire Widow is not her strongest book, but it is nevertheless an enjoyable read. Whatever it may lack in plot – a weakness I think because the main character is the wronged one, rather than with a secret of her own to hide – it is a fascinating glimpse of mid-Thirties Ceylon and a beautiful seaside town. It is 1936 in Galle on the southernmost tip of Ceylon. Louisa Reeve and her husband Elliot seem to have it all except, after a series of miscarriages, a child. Louisa, who wonders if she will ever be a mother, is often alone as Elliot spends his spare time sailing with friends and on a cinnamon plantation in which he is an investor. But when tragedy hits Louisa discovers Elliot’s life, investments and hobbies were not as he told her. As she deals with one lie after another, Louisa continues to develop Sapphire, the retail emporium originally planned with Elliot and which provides the novel’s title. Given the title I expected the gemstone business of Louisa’s father,
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Categories: Book Love.

#Bookreview ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ by @DinahJefferies #romance #historical

In Ceylon, between the First and Second World Wars, pre-Independence, a young wife arrives from England to join her new husband on his tea plantation. The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jeffries is a portrayal of an island riven by racial differences, a marriage riven by an inability to be honest, concluding that in the end skin colour should not matter. As her ship from England docks in Colombo, Gwen Hooper feels faint and is helped by a charming dark-skinned man. This is our introduction to Savi Ravasinghe, a pivotal character, a Sinhalese portrait painter who paints the rich in Ceylon, England and America. At this first meeting, Gwen demonstrates her naivety of racial tensions between Ceylon’s native Sinhalese population and the Tamil workers brought to the island by the British tea planters to work on the plantations. Soon after, trying to help an injured worker, she tramples over old sensitivities and the Raj way of doing things. I found Gwen both fascinating and a little irritating. The story is told totally from her viewpoint and, for me, her husband Laurence is rather remote. When Gwen gives birth to twins, the first, a boy, is christened Hugh. The second is
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Categories: Book Love.