Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Blog Tour and Review - The Sapphire Widow - Dinah Jefferies

Blog Tour - The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

It's great to be  part of the blog tour for another gorgeous historical title by the delightful Dinah Jefferies.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous - but what about the story? Read on for my own thoughts about this luscious new book set in 1930s Ceylon.

My Review

Dinah Jefferies has become my go-to author for sheer indulgent escapism. With all her books you know in advance exactly what you’re going to get:
A stunning location beautifully described so well you can feel the heat and smell the spices and a haunting love story with a realistic and likeable heroine.
Intricately researched details and a gripping historical read with a timeless quality which blends factual knowledge with a rich and vivid imagination to create a luscious book to transport the reader away from everyday humdrum life.

This latest offering is a cornucopia of glittering gems, garnished with pungent spices and wrapped in a silken bow of emotions.

In the Sapphire widow the lush location is 1930’s Colonial Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) resonant with the fragrance of cinnamon and tea. The gentle and compassionate heroine is Louisa, a young British woman who’s new life in Ceylon with her husband who turns out to be not quite the man she was hoping he’d be, is soon to be blown apart. It would be remiss of me not to mention the rugged and enigmatic Leo, as different as chalk is to cheese from her suave husband Elliott.

Dinahs life, which seems so promising at the start, is set to become studded with heartbreak and distress as she suffers miscarriage after miscarriage, begins to have doubts about her husband and is then widowed leaving many mysteries, which to overcome her losses she throws herself into uncovering but what she discovers may throw her whole world into complete disarray.

The historical events, painstakingly researched, include Spice trading and plantation life, the gemstone industry and the book with its themes of marital disharmony, loss and secrets, is filled with hidden pasts, lies, passion and opulent descriptions.

Lavish and descriptive and richly evocative, yet never trashy or light and fluffy, this epic romantic saga by one of my favourite authors swept me away on a spice fragranced, colourful magic carpet to experience life as an ex-pat in a foreign country both alien and familiar, with a story which is both heartbreaking and uplifting.

Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and her love for the Orient shines through her writing.

The Sapphire Widow is a wonderful read. Parts were pretty difficult for me, especially when Louisa suffers repeated, heartbreaking miscarriages, loss is a theme which runs throughout the book and is handled with sensitivity by the author, yet still tugs at the heart.

I can recommend this enchanting book to anyone who has already discovered Dinah Jefferies work, perhaps when the Tea Planters Wife was recommended by Richard and Judy’s book club.

For those readers who haven’t read her work yet (and I have to ask - why not??) It’s a great starting point.

For more about the story I’ll leave you to read it. Newly published it's available from Amazon and all good booksellers.

The Blurb

A sweeping, breath-taking story of love and betrayal from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife

Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child.

While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot's shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to...

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