The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Sapphire Widow

Title: The Sapphire Widow

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Publisher: Penguin (Viking)

ISBN-10: 024130377X

ISBN-13: 978-0241303771

Date of Publication: 5th April 2018

Date of Review: 13th May 2018


A sweeping, breath-taking story of love and betrayal from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tea Planter’s Wife

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…

My Review

A beautifully written, almost poetic, narrative with vivid imagery that transports the reader to another time and place.

Set in Ceylon 1935, the story tells the tale of Louisa, a young widow who following the death of her beloved husband, Elliot, discovers her marriage was not what she thought it was. Written in third person, with limited omniscience from Louisa’s perspective, the narrative has a literary feel whilst still retaining intrigue through the hook of Elliot’s mysterious past.

Although a sad story of the protagonist journey as to how she comes to terms with loss – in more ways than one; this is also an uplifting and inspirational tale of love and human compassion. When Louisa comes to the aid of the last person who deserves her help, Louisa’s broken heart begins to mend; but this is soon under threat. Will she ever find inner peace and true happiness?

This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies, but it certainly won’t be the last. Under Literature Love’s rating criteria, this novel has been given 5 out of 5 stars. This means:

I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go and buy this book now!


As well as having all the elements of a four-star review, this book transcends its genre. The language is original and compelling; characters jumped off the page; and twists in the plot left me gasping. This rare and exceptional book will be put forward for Literature Love’s top 10 books of the year.

Thank you to Dinah Jefferies, Penguin (Viking), and NetGalley for this copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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