Nineteen-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 is 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 husbands connection to a brash American business women. 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.
Setting of this book starts at 1913 then jumps 12 years later to 1925. It reads in four parts, Part One: The New Life, Part Two: The Secret, Part Three: The Struggle, and Part Four: The Truth.
I really enjoyed reading this book Gwen a young bride who moves to Ceylon to be head mistress at the tea plantation, who then has to deal with the silent workers who won’t talk to her or tell her anything about Laurence’s first wife, then the secrets she has to keep from everyone.
Verity the sister-in-law who is clinged to her brother, who gives her an allowance also provides her a place to stay , and is an alcoholic for whatever reason won’t get married, and can’t be trusted.
Christina who once had a fling with Laurence is beautiful and full of confidence that can get any man,which she may still be in love with Laurence, and that burns a jealous rage in Gwen.
Fran Gwen’s cousin and best friend who is out going and which Gwen tells all her secrets to is unable to let her in on a big secret that could destroy and tear people’s lives, in which they may think different of her.
Savi a sweet talker Sinhalese in which Laurence dislikes.
Naveena a sweet lady who has been with the family ever since Laurence was a baby, has been sworn to never tell anyone Gwen’s secret.
This story is very well written, and I was very much invested in the story and then came the plot twist which I didn’t see coming which made it more interesting, but when it came to the ending and the outcome of the story I was a bit disappointed and saddened I had hoped for something better. Overall I give this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review!