The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jeffries


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…


[His slight build makes it difficult to tell his age, but sitting under the hanging branches of the banyan tree he looks lonely, as sunlight filters through the glossy leaves, it dances on his thin limbs]


(Viking, 5 April 2018, first published 22 February 2018, ebook, 400 pages, copy from publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)




I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author is becoming one of my go-to’s for well-written, absorbing historical fiction. Louisa is a great character. I was instantly on her side, especially when she discovers the shocking truths about her late husband. The author knows how to bring history to brilliant, vivid life. The words transported me to Ceylon. I could smell the cinnamon and see the fireflies in the dark. The Sapphire Widow fairly packs a punch as Louisa, struggling with grief tries to unravel her late husband’s secrets and lies. Louisa and her husband’s unhappiness after years of struggling to have a child is painful to read at times. I really felt for Louisa when everything she thought she knew is torn apart.



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