Book Review: The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: 5th April 2018
Pages: 400
Buy: Paperback  Kindle
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...

Louisa and Elliot Reeve have the perfect marriage on the surface of things, however their relationship hides a heartbreaking secret. They long to have a child of their own, but Louisa keeps suffering from miscarriages.
Elliot then starts spending more and more time working at the nearby cinnamon plantation that he claims to have bought shares in, until one day Louisa receives the devastating news that he has died in an accident.
After receiving this earth-shattering news, Louisa also starts to discover one or two secrets about Elliot...Did she ever really know her husband at all?
If you're picking up a Dinah Jefferies book then you know you are guaranteed a cracking read...And The Sapphire Widow certainly didn't disappoint.
Set in Ceylon in 1935, The Sapphire Widow is full of beautifully descriptive writing, enabling you to feel as though you are in Ceylon yourself along with the characters. I had no trouble visualising this atmospheric setting and I could almost feel the heat burning my skin. Dinah Jefferies is so good at setting the scene and I love it when an author can transport me to different places, whether it's the gorgeous-sounding coastal city of Galle, or the fascinating sounding cinnamon plantation where Louisa meets the handsome Leo. I had no trouble envisaging these locations in my head.

 I loved the range of characters Dinah has created for The Sapphire Widow too. I felt a real affinity with Louisa. My heart broke for her and I feared that Elliot wasn't being entirely truthful at times, but I desperately hoped I was wrong.
On top of the miscarriages, Louisa also had to deal with Irene (the most interfering mother-in-law ever.) and I could feel the pain and confusion she experienced throughout the story. However, I felt that Louisa went on a real journey within this story and I really enjoyed watching her piece her life back together and build back what she had lost (with a little help from hunky, Leo, naturally...)
Another reason I absolutely adored this novel was because we get to re-visit characters from Dinah's previous novel, The Tea-Planter's Wife. It was wonderful to become reacquainted with Gwen and Laurence. Needless to say - if you've read and enjoyed any of other Dinah's previous novels then you MUST read The Sapphire Widow.

Dinah Jefferies is such a fantastic author. She creates memorable characters, fascinating settings and ultimately, she writes captivating stories that take you on adventures you'll never forget.

A huge thank you to Georgia at Penguin.

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