This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. .The Tea Planter's Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter
Series: India Tea #1
Published by Lake Union Publishing on November 1, 2007
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Also by this author: The Tea Planter's Bride
1905 INDIA: Clarissa Belhaven and her younger sister Olive find their carefree life on their father's tea plantation threatened by his drinking and debts.
Wesley Robson, a brash young rival businessman, offers to help save the plantation in exchange for beautiful Clarrie's hand in marriage, but her father flatly refuses. And when Jock Belhaven dies suddenly, his daughters are forced to return to their father’s cousin in Tyneside and work long hours in his pub.
In Newcastle, Clarrie is shocked by the dire poverty she witnesses, and dreams of opening her own tea room, which could be a safe haven for local women. To provide a living for herself and Olive, Clarrie escapes her dictatorial cousin Lily and takes a job as housekeeper for kindly lawyer Herbert Stock.
But Herbert's vindictive son Bertie, jealous of Clarrie's popularity, is determined to bring about her downfall. Then Wesley Robson comes back into Clarrie's life, bringing with him a shocking revelation ...
Set in the fascinating world of the Edwardian tea trade, THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER is a deeply involving and moving story with a wonderfully warm-hearted heroine.
✮ My Review ✮
Straight off the bat, I am going to say this is not normally the type of book I would pick up. I would probably umm and aaah, but I saw an awesome review by Nicki (Secret Library Book Blog) and I was intrigued. I then got it in on kindle Unlimited and it came with the audiobook. I am afraid it then sat there for months because I saw how long the audiobook was, a whopping 14 hours!
Can I ask someone just slap me in the face? I now realise what I have been missing out on! The Tea Planter’s Daughter is such a beautiful and haunting story of love, heartbreak, betrayal and solace.
Beginning in 1905, on a beautiful tea plantation in India, where Clarissa and Olive are somebodies. Living and breathing tea, growing and selling until a heartbreak befalls the girls and they are shipped off to the grubby streets of Tyneside to a cousin they have never met. The contrast between the two lives is a shock to the system to not only the girls but us as a reader. No longer a somebody but basically a slave girl to a drunk and a racist. With their Indian heritage, they are always on the outside, not quite accepted by the Indians nor the British.
Wesley Robson a competing tea planter to Clarrie’s dad Jock, and Jock can’t abide. He hates the Robson name and will not accept any help from him in any wake of life. The sad thing is, the contempt Jock feels for him and the family name carries down to Clarrie and she carries a conflicted torch for him, but of love and burning hatred. He, however, is the one constant in her life, both in the forefront and the background.
When Clarrie manages to escape the clutches of her awful awful cousins she becomes the housekeeper for the Stock family and a new chapter in life starts. This chapter just broke me. Clarrie really does not seem to catch a break, ok she doesn’t always help herself but she does not deserve the way Bertie Stock treats her. If I was talking to you face to face, you would hear and see the amount of contempt I have for him and his wife Verity! Awful despicable people. I loathed them, and when they were about I would roll my eyes with everything Bertie or his wife Verity said.
This being said Clarrie did cause me a few eye-rolling moments, she can be a bit infuriating at times as she would jump the gun before others spoke. Spoke up too many times when she should have held back first and waited, but I think what you tend to forget is that she is just a young girl when we meet her, the early 20s and so not quite grown out of her impulsive ways. Plus with the freedom she has the breathtaking plantation with no class system, so to speak, to concern her she doesn’t always remember where her new place is when she comes to Tyneside.
There is so much in this story, so much is covered, from the early 1900s to a country facing the First World War and the impact it has on the girls and the people they hold dearest.
I was crying at the end, especially when Clarrie receives a letter from Will! It broke me! That’s all I will say. The love for young Will Stock holds for Clarrie was so pure and l only to see! Not a replacement mum but she has become almost an older sister to him. The love they have for each other was lovely to see when she has no one else she had Will.
I can’t keen talking about the plot otherwise I will ruin it for you! But it was one hell of a start to this saga! It just took my breath away. I really did not think that a book could affect me as much as this one did. I was right there with Clarrie and I just wanted her to be happy and in love. She has been through way too much, but her determination carried her through. She sees the positive in everything and even when she is falling into despair she kept going and put everyone else first, even if they didn’t deserve it!
I listened to this when I was at work, driving home, doing the housework, any chance I got! It was on my mind when I had stopped and I was always eager to get back to it. When I realised I was near the end I got too impatient and had to finish the book on my Kindle. The ending made me smile and I feel so satisfied. I know when I close that book that Clarrie will be ok, I just hope it’s not the last we see of her!
Until next time xxx
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: