Outside of my interest in tea, I am a voracious bookworm. My public transportation commute enables me to read over 100 books a year. Anytime that my passions can be combined is guaranteed to capture my attention. When I was contacted by Crown Publishing Group to review a new book called The Tea Planter's Wife, I jumped at the chance. Book reviews are tough for me to write because I want to gush and tell you everything. On the other hand, I don't want to spoil it for anyone before they have a chance to read it.
This story is set primarily on a tea plantation in 1920's Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka). That was all I needed to know that this book would be right up my alley. The main character, Gwendolyn, was likable yet flawed. I liked that because characters that are too perfect is one of my literary pet peeves. We all have faults and fictional people should reflect that. The story itself is not exactly about tea but it certainly is mentioned a lot along the way. The labor issues on plantations are also discussed in great detail.
Although the plot was somewhat predictable it was fairly fast paced for a novel spanning several years. I never found it slow or droning. In fact, I missed my subway stop a few times because I was so sucked in. There was an element of mystery that kept me turning pages right up until the very end. The time periods are totally different but I couldn't help but be reminded of the Tea House Mysteries series by Laura Childs. This book is the same sort of guilty pleasure reading for me.
There were a few details that might be considered scientifically unsound and this was highlighted by a few reviewers on Amazon. That being said the whole point of fiction is to create an imaginary world. Even if there are realistic elements, it is up to the reader to suspend disbelief in order to really experience the author's vision.
I would definitely recommend picking up this book if you enjoy romance novels. Funnily enough, I just loaded up my Kindle with similarly themed novels by two other authors so keep an eye out for reviews of those in the future!
Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments.