When Gwen marries an older man her parents aren’t happy about the match. Laurence is a widowed tea plantation owner based in Ceylon, and Gwen falls madly in love with him when he visits England. Within a few months, they are married and he returns to Ceylon, leaving his new wife to make her own way to the plantation. It is on the boat that she first meets the beautiful Sinhalese man, Savi. Her new life in Ceylon begins with jealousy, mistrust, and secrets, but her love for her husband prevails throughout the heartache to come. It is not just about love and tragedy, but politics, economics, and the strength of women of all kinds.
This colonial book is rich in its native setting and beautifully described. The protagonist is an emotionally driven woman who falls into a spiral of bad decisions which tumbles her down a path that brings her more pain that she can bear. It is historically realistic and culturally authentic, with characters that force an emotional attachment to the reader.
The book is a powerful text, both thought-provoking and emotionally engaging. I loved every moment of it.