Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

The Tea Planter's Wife by  Dinah Jefferies is a complex novel set in the 1920s and 1930s.  It is a tale of living on a tea plantation in Ceylon.  Where is Ceylon? you might ask well look up Sri Lanka and you will find Ceylon.  Gwen has just married a man and is madly in love and so excited to get to her new home.  She knows that there will be many changes to make in learning to live in Ceylon when she is so used to living in England.  Her husband, Laurence has gone on ahead to prepare the home for her arrival.  Gwen learns to live the life on the plantation and to think of this as her new home and to love it.  But there are many changes to make- why does her sister-in-law seem to hate her no matter what she does?  why are the plantation workers not treated better?  But then the worse thing of all--Gwen is pregnant with twins but when they are born her son, Hugh, is white and looks very much like Laurence but the daughter is dark.  How could this happen?  What can she do?  She is all alone for this delivery except for her servant, Naveena.  Naveena helps her to find a wet nurse in the village to care for her for money.  No one can know, Naveena has convinced her.  But how could this have happened?  Did it happen the night she was so drunk that she allowed a trusted black friend see her to her bedroom?  Gwen tumbles into a deep depression for the guilt of giving away her baby from which she recovers but never does she forget her daughter, Liyoni.  Gwen convinces Naveena to take her to the village to make sure that Liyoni is ok but only one time.  That is the only safe way for but the baby's safety as well as the secret's safety.  Liyoni grows as does Hugh.  Then Liyoni begins to limp and her foster mother will no longer care for her.  Read this book to find out the outcome of this novel.

I loved this complicated book though I lay it down time after time because of the sadness and turmoil of the emotions.  I think any adult woman would enjoy reading this book and probably some high school aged girls but as I said earlier it is a complex book with difficult racial and sexual problems of the 1930s some of which still linger on but some of which the young of today will never know.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman is the 2nd in the Amish Secrets series.  Charlotte Dolinsky has finalized her  breakup with Ryan for the last time.  He refused to forgive her for snooping in his phone to find out if he was cheating on her.  That was bad enough but when she spotted him in the restaurant obviously on a date with another woman Charlotte was through and figured out that though he may think she was crazy and not trusting enough she was correct about his unfaithfulness and was done.  And if all that was not enough she found out that she had been evicted from her apartment during that same time.  Her only brother had recently committed suicide and she needed to settle his affairs in an Amish community in Lancaster County so she decided to go back there and also see her Amish friends whom she had met while trying to figure out why her brother had decided to kill himself.  While in Lancaster county she stays with her friends, Amos and Lena and their family.  Charlotte has decided to sell her brother's house but even though a friend, Daniel Byler and Aaron have helped get the house ready to sell the realtor has had no one showing any interest in a house with no electricity.  Then Daniel has noticed that someone has been sneaking into the house and leaving behind a mess and leaving the door unlocked.  What is Charlotte going to do?  She needs the money that the sale of the house can bring but the house keeps getting broken into and left in a mess.  She wants to discover the secrets of her past but can no longer afford mental health treatment since Ryan had been paying for it.  Who is the little girl in the purple dress standing with the Amish woman in her dreams?

As you can see this book is well developed and anyone would enjoy reading it.  Though Charlotte is not Amish it is centered in Lancaster county and most of the characters are Amish and so allows the readers a glimpse into their world. 
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

Child of the River by Irma Joubert is the first book that I believe that I have read by this author but it certainly will not be the last.  This book begins with the leading character, Persomi Pieterse, coming of age in the 1930's in South Africa.  She is the 4th child growing up in a poor white sharecropper family, a bywoner, on a portion of the huge Fourie farm.  She has grown up playing with the owners children but knows that her place is to always be subject to the children of the owner.  Irene one of the owner's children makes sure that Persomi knows her place.  Persomi and her older brother Gerbrand belong to their mother and Piet and Sissie belong to their pa. Hannapat and Baby belong to both of them.  Persomi wonders why she doesn't look like anyone else in the family.  She is tall and thin and has dark hair.  Persomi is smart in school and she can run like the wind.  That running is sometimes what saves her from the cruel hand of her drunken lazy father.  Persomi knows that this is her last year of school.  Her mama has already told her that she will find a job next year and Gerbrand even though he is also smart and athletic has already quit school to work in the mines.  Persomi has been told by the welfare woman that she could get a scholarship for her so that she can go to school and Persomi has high hopes.  The welfare woman was on their case because she found out that Sissie was pregnant and their father had raped her.  The welfare woman had asked Persomi to testify against her father.  Persomi is afraid but she agrees to tell the truth though her ma had said that pa would kill them all.  Persomi testifies and she not only told on her pa but also told why Sissie and her mother had lied and were too afraid to tell the truth.  Pa is sent to jail and Persomi goes to school.  This is the beginning of Persomi becoming educated and becoming an important lawyer during the coming apartheid and World War II years.

I loved this book.  Though it is a novel it is told with the historic facts in place.  It tells of the many problems of the poor both white and the various colors of the human race in South Africa.  It tells of the rich and their ways of controlling the laws to their benefit and how it affects the poor.  It tells of how race relations are manipulated by those in power to keep the poor infighting among themselves and allowing the rich to stay rich by not fighting.  It tells how during the war the rich did not fight but rather controlled how the war was fought by the poor of their country.  "The poor are mere cannon fodder" during the war.   
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.