It turned into a golden morning, full of delicate light, and with a pale blue haze drifting over the lake. It seemed strange that after such a terrifying night everything should be so still and normal at the lakeside, with the fresh wetness of the trees and the dew coating the grass. (Excerpt from The Tea Planter’s Wife)
If you’re depressed, or just on your period, don’t start The Tea Planter’s Wife. It begins (and carries through) with an ominous tone. It reminded me of The Miniaturist – one of the few books I have started and promptly stopped. When something makes me sad and anxious, I show it the door.
However, let it be known that I tried reading The Miniaturist in the midst of a dark depression, that I have since conquered. And I started The Tea Planter’s Wife in the midst of PMSing like they warn you about in health class. (You know the kind – everything is awful and the world is ending…oh wait I just checked the calendar, never mind, we’re fine.) Since I’d received this book from Blogging for Books, I decided to carry on and keep reading, lady feelings be damned.
Here we are now, (entertain us), at my blog post for this lush novel by Dinah Jefferies. It was well worth the fight.
Let’s start with the writing. Lush is indeed the word for this novel. It is written beautifully and carefully. The landscapes are vivid even if you’re a literary jerk like me and skim instead of read half the time. And the characters! They are vivid too; in fact, I miss them already.
Now the plot. You will not see any of it coming, really. There were so many roller coaster moments where everything went to crap right after being okay, that I started to think, “oh gosh, this is so dramatic, not realistic.” And then I remembered real life and went, “oh gosh, this is so dramatic, it’s realistic!”
From dragging my feet page to page in the beginning, I read the last two pages as if my eyes were starving. Similarly to my experience with The Fifth Avenue Artist’s Society, The Tea Planter’s Wife made me want to cuddle up to my fiance and never let go till we have lived our own beautiful roller coaster. Damn it, I hate when books make me feel.
The Tea Planter’s Wife is the perfect summer novel for someone who can’t stand crap romance novels and vapid plot lines. It sweeps you away with the story but also leaves you feeling like you enjoyed something of substance. If silly women’s lit is The Real Housewives of Literature, this is the Netflix original series that surprised you into being a fan.
If you’re looking for an escape that won’t make you feel like a twit, grab The Tea Planter’s Wife and enjoy your read.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.