The Tea Planter’s Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter

The Tea Planters Daughter Book Cover The Tea Planters Daughter
The India Tea Series (Book 1)
Janet MacLeod Trotter
Historical, Romance, Literature, Fiction
Lake Union Publishing
June 21, 2016
Kindle, paperback, Audible, MP3-CD
448

Lush, green, fragrant: the Indian hills of Assam are full of promise. But eighteen-year-old Clarissa Belhaven is full of worry. The family tea plantation is suffering, and so is her father, still grieving over the untimely death of his wife, while Clarissa’s fragile sister, Olive, needs love and resourceful care.

Beautiful and headstrong, Clarissa soon attracts the attention of young, brash Wesley Robson, a rival tea planter. Yet before his intentions become fully clear, tragedy befalls the Belhavens and the sisters are wrenched from their beloved tea garden to the industrial streets of Tyneside.

A world away from the only home she has ever known, Clarissa must start again. Using all her means, she must endure not only poverty but jealousy and betrayal too. Will the reappearance of Wesley give her the link to her old life that she so desperately craves? Or will a fast-changing world and the advent of war extinguish hope forever?

Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea…

 

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There are so many flavors of tea in world, just as there are writers and stories.  Even if you like a particular type of tea, how it is made can affect its strength and flavor.  tea cupThat’s the best way I can think to describe The Tea Planter’s Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter.  It was readable and interesting but kind of bland.

The Tea Planter’s Daughter starts out in the tea country of late 1800’s India and is the first book in The India Tea Series.  Janet writes in colorful prose as she paints vivid pictures of colonial India and the world leading up to WWI in this historical fiction work.  india tea gardenHer intricate story telling specifically follows the lives of Clarissa Belhaven and her fragile, younger sister, Olive as their world is turned upside down after the death of their father.  Unable to keep the tea garden they must turn to family in England to survive.

The Tea Planter’s Daughter is not a terrible book but it also doesn’t stand out in any particular way.  Initially, I thought I just needed to give the story time to develop, which it did through the historical accuracy of the quickly changing, modernizing world of that time.  It’s also very readable and flows nicely.  Ultimately, it wasn’t Janet’s writing style, setting or story telling that disappointed me but her characters.  They were predictable in many ways and the little sister, Olive, while more sickly than Clarissa, was really a spoiled baby, even when she was grown.  The attraction and supposed romance between Clarissa and Wesley at first seemed too canned.  Then it got so lost in the story that I thought this wasn’t actually a historical romance piece but a historical fiction work.  It did come eventually back to the romance and made the ending feel complete.hot tea

I think The Tea Planter’s Daughter is worth reading it’s just that I like my cup of tea a little more flavorful!

 

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