Review: The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

I’m a huge fan of fiction; especially war fiction and stories set in the twenties and thirties throughout the British Empire as it once was.   The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies ticks all of those boxes and more.

This books tells a seemingly tragic love story set in pre-World War II Ceylon(Sri Lanka), with hazy days and intricate descriptions of the setting and characters.

Louisa Reeve has lived in Galle her whole life; married to her business-driven husband Elliot and living the seemingly perfect life she wants nothing more than to have a child yet has been plagued by multiple losses.  They have the perfect home, the perfect life, the perfect marriage.  But not all is as it seems…

This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies and I’m absolutely addicted to her writing style – so many books struggle to find a balance between over-complicated detail and not enough; yet this book has it all.

Does anyone else feel almost downtrodden when a book ends and another starts?  I certainly do – I almost dread the first few chapters what if this book doesn’t live up to the last, and if the last was bad, will this be better?

From the first chapter I was completely sold, and fully absorbed by this fabulous story.  It is first and foremost a love story, but I was pleased to read it has a few little twists and I couldn’t predict the ending.

One of the most important things for me in a book is to be able to close my eyes and see the story, the landscape and the characters – and from the first page I could see every single detail despite having no knowledge of the setting.

Louisa is the main character and throughout the book you can almost feel every emotion with her – the chapters are short and each one leaves you wanting more.  As well as the main characters struggles you can also sense the beginning of change in Ceylon; this book touches on the stirrings of backlash against British rule but in a way that is interesting and factual yet not overbearing.

I don’t want to say too much about the story as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but a friend once told me that a good book will make you laugh, cry and sad once finished – this book did exactly that.

The author writes with a passion I’ve not come across before – the storytelling is vibrant and powerful yet sympathetic to the period.

I’ve since moved on to The Tea Planter’s Wife by the same author – I cannot wait to read her other books, I have indeed found a new favourite.  This book is also one of the select few chosen for the Richard and Judy Book Club 2018.

You can buy The Sapphire Widow on Amazon.




**I was sent a copy of The Sapphire Widow to review.  For more information click here.**



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