Louisa and Elliot are happily married with a longing to start a family of their own. Elliot is often away from home working hard at his cinnamon plantation, or making important business deals. When Elliot dies suddenly, Louisa is left to unravel the lies he told and secrets he kept firmly hidden from her.
Dinah Jefferies returns her readers to beautiful Ceylon in 1935. It immediately feels familiar as The Tea Planter’s Wife had already given such a wonderful introduction to it. It isn’t a traditional sequel, but shares the stunning backdrop and few characters. The Sapphire Widow can certainly be read as a stand-alone book.
Louisa is forced to confront her husband’s betrayal whilst finding her way through life without him. She meets friends and foes alike in the businessmen he had dealings with, and a shocking secret is revealed. The sinister characters she meets along the way are easy to dislike and have a haunting presence throughout. Louisa has to deal with so many conflicting emotions whilst also managing Elliot’s family, her father and keep running the household.
Two of the female characters really stood out for me. Gwen, from one of Dinah’s previous books, is a comforting and loyal friend. Margo, her sister in law, is supportive and understanding. Neither of them offer judgement around the secrets revealed, and are a genuine comfort to Louisa when she most needs it.
One thing you cannot escape in the book is the awful loss of a loved one. The impact on a family without a most central member is explored from every angle. The mother without her precious son, who always believed he could do no harm. The sister who always felt second best, and the doting wife who has lost everything she knew. This is explored in other, more heartbreaking ways when the full extent of Elliot’s betrayal are revealed.
Click here to read my reviews of Dinah’s other books – Dinah Jefferies
Links to Amazon (pictures) are affiliate links with all earnings contributing to blog costs.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.