The Tea Planter's Wife

A Novel
Narrated by: Avita Jay
Length: 15 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Number-One International Best Seller 

1920s Ceylon: A young Englishwoman 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

In this lush, atmospheric pause-resister, 19-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper has married Laurence, the seductively mysterious owner of a vast tea empire in colonial Ceylon, after a whirlwind romance in London. When she joins him at his faraway tea plantation, she’s filled with hope for their life together, eager to take on the role of mistress of the house, learn the tea business, and start a family. 

But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbors and her new sister-in-law treacherous. Gwen finds herself drawn to a local Sinhalese man of questionable intentions and worries about her new husband’s connection to a brash American businesswoman. 

But most troubling are the unanswered questions surrounding Laurence’s first marriage. Why won’t anyone discuss the fate of his first wife? Who’s buried in the unmarked grave in the forest? 

As the darkness of her husband’s past emerges, Gwen is forced to make a devastating choice, one that could destroy their future and Gwen’s chance at happiness. 

©2016 Dinah Jefferies (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Spellbinding...effortlessly elegant, lushly descriptive.... Combine this with the vivid, evocative manner in which Jefferies describes the beauty of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and the captivating cast of characters she has created, and you have a superbly written novel that readers of historical fiction as well as women's fiction will treasure." ( Booklist)
"...[A]n engrossing tale of mystery, manners, and prejudice set against the backdrop of Ceylon (current-day Sri Lanka).... Jeffries shows that she can weave a suspenseful tale in which characters' complex motivations converge in surprising ways." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Rich and incredibly evocative, The Tea Planter's Wife is historical fiction at its very best. It's just spellbinding." ( The Sunday Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    74
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Continual lack of communication/honesty = heartbreak

A good story actually, I liked it. But my goodness if it’s not a massive lesson in ‘let’s talk it out’. Everyone afraid of saying the full truth, protecting everyone from pain but creating more pain and in the process. An interesting story though and I liked the narrator.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

One pantaloon away from a bodice-ripping novel

I thought this book would have a more historical context to it. While the author has some historical reference, the characters had too much modern behavior & thought. An extremely predictable plot & all is uncovered in the final 30 min of the novel. Just as when I read Anna Karenina, I was rooting for her to jump in front of the train; this this novel, I could hardly bear to get through the last half bc of her continued anguish. I was rooting for Gwen to drown in the lake at some point. However, I must admit that it was a delightful distraction from my daily commute. I need something meatier for literature. This novel has satisfied my quota of romance novels for the next half decade.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A lavish life entwined with devastating loss

Really enjoyed this book. It was the read for the month in my book club and not really sure if I would have chosen it on my own - but it definitely turned out to be a good read. The descriptions of 1920-30's Ceylon were amazing - I kept looking images up on Google to help with the imagination. Such a beautiful place to live, but then a devastating thing happens which brings up questions for Gwen and the book takes a turn into the dark corners of jealousy, confusion, grief, and ignorance. It is a bit long, but I guess it needed to be to tie It altogether – its almost like several novels in one. It was also a little predictable but overall I really enjoyed it. The narrator was amazing as well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Preposterous

Too bad! Seemed promising at the start, but very quickly deteriorated into cringe-worthy story lines that simply didn't hold together - not to mention shallow character development that didn't hold steady, eye-rolling scenes and conversations, all presented in a soup of bathos.

Having said this ... the narration was acceptable, although her attempts at "American" accents veered into Mae West and Al Capone territory. If you really need something to listen to as "white noise" while concentrating on exercising, gardening, running errands and the like- this will do.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very nice story

loved the book. nice fast pace story. very touching..... highly recommended to read it .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable book

Very much enjoyed this book! The narration and story grabbed hold and kept me there until the end!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring, Slow, Uninteresting

This story dragged. Some of it was a stretch to believe. The writing seemed a bit uneven. The female lead was a bit too weak and naive for me. Some of the voices the narrator gave some of the female characters were hard to listen to ... too overdone. Too high pitched or too theatrical.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

This novel is guaranteed to bring out every emotion that fills the human spirit. Compassion, love, commitment, anger, laughter, and acceptance, make this novel feel very real even now. I enjoyed even second of this book and sat hours in my car not wanting to stop listening. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting story

I love historical romance novels settings colonial India and/or Ceylon. This held my attention throughout. Intriguing story of love, betrayal, and racial discrimination on a tea plantation during the 1920-30’s Ceylon. Excellent narration!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved this story and the twists and turns.

This was a heartwarming story with many twists and turns. It gave me a glimpse of life on a tea plantation during the early 20th century, after WWI. It told of the racial tensions between the British settlers and the natives in Ceylon. Excellent story and narration. I love when the narrator gives voice to the many characters in the story, that's what keeps me entertained.